Cheap Seats

Cardinals trading chips

The drum beat for offensive help is getting louder and faster. So, even though no list could ever be complete, here are some of the more valuable pieces the Cardinals might be able to offer in trade:

Chris Perez
-- The favorite to win the job as Cardinals closer in spring training, Perez has been pitching in middle relief with the emergence of Ryan Franklin as the closer and Jason Motte as a setup man. Soon to be 25, Perez has given up only 12 hits in 17 2/3 innings to put together a 3.57 ERA. He has 22 strikeouts and 14 walks. With a 96 MPH fastball and a huge upside, Perez could be a valuable chip to a team that needs immediate bullpen help and a future closer.

Mitchell Boggs -- No one thinks of his as a front of the rotation major leaguer. Still, Boggs performed well when called up while Chris Carpenter was on the disabled list. In four starts and a relief appearance, Boggs was 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA. But he gave up 28 hits in 22 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 20 and walked 11 in the majors so far this year. He is 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA at Class AAA Memphis.

Jess Todd -- This one is going to make people scream at the suggestion. Jess Todd was spectactular in Class AA Springfield last season, making some believe he was a future major league ace. But scouts project him as a more likely bullpen candidate, and he is working this season at Memphis as the Redbirds closer. The Cardinals don't seem to need a closer with Franklin under control at a very reasonable price through 2010 and Jason Motte being groomed as his replacement. He is 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA in Memphis. Todd has 32 strikeouts with 7 walks in 24 1/3 Class AAA innings. It would make a lot of sense now to sell Todd while his value is still relatively high.

Clayton Mortensen -- The 24-year-old righty is 5-3 at Memphis with a 3.62 ERA. He has surrendered 51 hits in 59 2/3 innings in Class AAA with 40 strikeouts and 23 walks. He projects as a middle of the rotation starter, but the Cardinals have either not thought he was polished enough to call up with their recent injury problems in the rotation or else they just don't want to start his free agency clock... Either way, Mortensen could be a valuable chip in a trade to a pitching starved team that is trying to rebuild.

Bryan Anderson -- Most thought Anderson, a catcher who hits pretty well from the left side, was one of the Cardinals most valuable trade pieces. But he seems to have plateaued and is splitting time in Memphis with Matt Pagnozzi. Anderson is batting only .248 this season after tearing up Class AA pitching in 2008 before hitting .281 in 73 games at Memphis. He's not a power bat and his defense is mediocre, although he has been working on it. I'm not sure how other teams look at Anderson these days.

Tyler Greene -- He was spinning his wheels in the minors the last three years, his future as David Eckstein's heir apparent fading away. But Greene gained some traction this season when he was called up to the bigs for the first time. He played strong defense and hit a respectable .263 in The Show. He's batting .319 with 11 stolen bases in 14 tries in Memphis... While he's probably not a guy that other team's would target in trade, he would likely have some value as part of a package going to a team that is willing to deal its major league shortstop... But the Cardinals may just want to keep Greene at this point in hopes he might finally reach his potential as a major league starter in 2010.

Trey Hearne -- He's 4-1 at Class AA Springfield with a 3.12 ERA in what is considered to be a hitters' league. Hearne has given up 47 hits and struck out 47 in 52 innings pitched. Meanwhile, he has walked 15. Hearne was 5-1 at Class A Palm Beach last year after spending part of the season as a loaner to the Mexican League. He made the all-star team there but did not pitch because of an arm injury. He seems to be back in form this season.

Daryl Jones -- He's a talented lefthanded outfielder, probably the biggest area of surplus for the Cardinals organization. Jones can hit for average with a .319 mark in Class AA. He's not a power guy with two homers and has 14 extra base hits among his 56 safeties. He has a .412 on base percentage. Jones hit .316 in 2008 between Class A Palm Beach and Springfield.