If the St. Louis Cardinals decide their offense isn’t as prolific as they’d hoped in the upcoming season, the team’s deep pitching will provide plenty of potential trading chips.
With Adam Wainwright expected to return from an injury-marred 2015 season to anchor the starting rotation, St. Louis has many more available arms than roster spots.
The rotation will be rounded out with youngsters Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, free agent acquisition Mike Leake and veteran Jaime Garcia. The bullpen is crowded with Trevor Rosenthal in the closer role and Kevin Seigrist, Seth Maness, Seung Hwan Ho, Jonathon Broxton, Jordan Walden and Tyler Lyons seeming to be locks for jobs.
That leaves Mitch Harris, Sam Tuivailala, Marco Gonzales and Tim Cooney on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, a new crop of young St. Louis pitchers has emerged on the horizon.
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Top prospect Alex Reyes is expected to land on the big league roster at some point in the 2016 season as is Matt Bowman, acquired in the Rule 5 draft from the New York Mets organization. Luke Weaver, 23, is projected to make it to the big leagues by 2017. Jack Flaherty, 20, is expected to make it in 2018.
Turning heads this spring in the early days of Camp Cardinals is righthander Arturo Reyes who made it to Class AAA Memphis by the end of last season after a strong showing at Class AA Springfield.
Factor in that veteran Lance Lynn is expected to return from Tommy John surgery in time for the 2017 season and it’s clear that the Cardinals don’t have enough jobs to go around for all the quality arms they’ve managed to amass.
So they should have more than enough pieces to put together a deal for a player like Carlos Gonzalez if they should decide they need to make a move.