According to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals have taken interest in Tampa Bay Rays starting pitching, and Jake Odorizzi could be their target. The 25-year-old right-hander grew up in the St. Louis area and was a former first round pick out of Highland High School by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 19, 2015
The Cardinals have took a hit to its top of the line rotation in the off season with Lance Lynn under going Tommy John surgery and losing John Lackey in free agency to the rival Chicago Cubs. Along with Carlos Martinez getting shut down at the end of the regular season with a shoulder injury and catcher Yadier Molina undergoing a second surgery on a torn thumb ligament, St. Louis has some question marks among its pitching staff.
Odorizzi has been traded twice in his career before, but both as a key prospect in both deals going from the Brewers to Kansas City in return for Zack Grenkie and then from the Royals to Tampa Bay with Wil Meyers for James Shields and Wade Davis. In his second full season in the big leagues Odorizzi posted a 3.35 ERA with a 3.6 WAR and back to back seasons with at least 150 strikeouts.
With Odorizzi being so young, he won’t become a free agent until 2020 and could be a key component in the Cardinals rotation for a long time, filling the void left by Lackey. The price won’t be cheap either to acquire Odorizzi, as St. Louis will have dig down into its deep farm system if they want to compliment its rotation behind Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha.