It’s been reported over the last few days that the St. Louis Cardinals have interest in free agent pitcher Max Scherzer and/or hot trade targets Cole Hamels of the Phillies and David Price of the Tigers. Obviously it’s nice to dream and all, but some Cardinals fans must be wondering, “Why?”
While the Cardinals would be no-doubt favorites to win their division if they were to acquire any of the three pitchers, it really isn’t necessary, and here’s why. Let’s start with the problems that accompany each pitcher.
David Price: Price is an excellent pitcher, Cy Young winner, and has the fire that teams want to see in their ace(s). Pairing Price with Adam Wainwright, and the Cardinals would have arguably the best one-two punch in all of baseball, with the Dodgers and White Sox coming in as close seconds. The Cardinals would be feared, they would pretty much be locked for a deep postseason run. Yet, while that’s all nice and fun for Cardinal fans to think about, there’s an ugly truth after the fact. Price is a free agent after the 2015 season. While the Cardinals have money, one has to wonder if they will have enough to the point where they will have the confidence to give the lefty the offer he wants. With an extension for Lance Lynn on the horizon, and the Cardinals already faced with having to try to re-sign Jason Heyward after 2015, will management really want to have to worry about possibly giving up the farm just for Price to walk away?
General Manager John Mozeliak already had to give up Shelby Miller and righty prospect Tyrell Jenkins to acquire Heyward, and the asking price for David Price will likely exceed even that, weakening the Cardinals previously abundant stash of pitchers even further. It can only be assumed the Cardinals would have to give up one of their top prospects, like Marco Gonzales or Stephen Piscotty to get Price, which would weaken the rotation further, causing a situation that could spell disaster if Price ended up walking at the end of 2015 anyway. It’s nice to dream, but it’s my sincere hope that Mozeliak is smart enough to lay off the temptations of a deal like this.