St. Louis Cardinals
Despite trading Jon Jay to the Padres and losing Jason Heyward to the Cubs in free agency, the Cardinals still have quite a bit of outfield depth. Homegrown talents Stephen Piscotty, Tommy Pham, and Randal Grichuk will compete for playing time with veterans Brandon Moss and Matt Holliday in 2016. However, it would probably be wise for St. Louis to inject another proven star into that core, especially since Pham and Moss are probably best suited to be role players on the Cardinals, and Holiday will be a free agent after next season. Although there’s been lots of speculation that the Redbirds could sign Gordon or one of the other top free-agent outfielders still on the market, General Manager John Mozeliak has pretty much ruled that out:
“We still feel like from what we’ve been trying to do and been through this winter allows us ways to improve,” Mozeliak said. “It’s clear now this offseason is not going to have that dynamic signing that we tried to do with (David) Price and Heyward. There isn’t anything now that we’re chasing with a nine-figure contract. We can take the time to see what we have in the players we control.”
If Mozeliak really is ruling out a splashy free-agent signing, trading for Gonzalez may be his best option. Gonzalez could play right field for a year, then move over to left once Holiday departs. It would be a great fit all around: St. Louis has the budget to take on Gonzalez’s salary, and more than enough minor-league talent to get a deal done. They have enough outfield depth to give Gonzalez plenty of rest, and cover for him if his injury problems return. Most importantly, Gonzalez is only under contract for two more years, giving St. Louis plenty of flexibility down the road.