With just over a day left until the MLB trade deadline, many rumors began flying around social media about possible landing spots for some big name arms made available recently. With speculations of a move for a front of the rotation arm in the past weeks, today only bolstered the thought in the minds of Cardinals’ fans. Along with David Price, who has been considered available for some time now, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, Cliff Lee, Ian Kennedy, John Lackey, AJ Burnett, and Bartolo Colon are all expected to be trade options for the Cardinals.
David Price has been at the center of discussion for almost a month now, but with the Rays surging, some have questioned the organizations willingness to move him. Price, however, is still rumored to be available for the right price. That price, for the Cardinals, could include a pairing of Oscar Taveras, a top draft pick, and Carlos Martinez or Shelby Miller. If this is in fact the case for the Cardinals, then a negotiation with Price and contract extension is a must.
We can look at the three Phillies pitchers together. Phillies scouts are in Memphis on Tuesday and no starter has been named for the Cardinals on Saturday. The void being left there could possibly be filled via a trade, and if it were to come from the Phillies organization it would likely be either Lee or Burnett. Hamels cost should be similar to that of Price, but Hamels is signed through 2019 and is due nearly $100 million. Hamels does have a connection to St. Louis, as his wife, a former Survivor contestant, is from the St. Louis area.
Lee, coming off of an injury, is also due a fair amount of money, but may not cost as much in the way of prospects due to his rather poor showing since his return from the DL. Burnett has struggled a bit this season but still brings experience and veteran leadership. Lee and Burnett have both been names floated around in past Cardinals’ trade talks.
Then there’s John Lackey and Jon Lester. Lackey doesn’t seem like he’s getting any attention from the Cardinals. I would take that to mean that their honestly not interested. Lester, on the other hand, was scratched from his start on Wednesday and, according to Ken Rosenthal, there are three teams in the hunt for his services.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 30, 2014
Lester would make sense as a rental for the Cardinals, although extending him might be a possibility as well. One thing going against a trade for him is the recent signing of AJ Pierzynski. Pierzynski was let go by the Red Sox close to a month ago and seemed to be disliked by every player on the team, most likely including Lester. If Lester is willing to let go of the grudge with the catcher, the Cardinals may be very logical suitors for the southpaw.
With the trade deadline ending on Thursday and the Cardinals needing a starter for Saturdays game, as well as rotational help for the rest of the season, none of the options above would be overly shocking.