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Matt Adams' injury could hurt Cardinals trade flexibility

Potentially dealing a blow to the Cardinals ability to deal from a position of surplus, Memphis first baseman Matt Adams has been placed on the disabled list because of soreness in his elbow.

According to mlb.com, the big first sacker has been dealing with elbow issues all year. And, despite word from doctors that he wouldn't do any further damage to the joint by playing through the pain, Memphis decided to shut him down for a couple of weeks. He hasn't played in a game since July 30.

While he would be back in time for the trade deadline, it might make some teams a little nervous to acquire damaged goods. According to mlb.com, Adams will require surgery to correct his elbow issues over the off-season.

Adams is hitting a robust .353 in Class AAA this year and has 13 homers and 36 RBIs despite missing a significant portion of the season while in the major leagues.

While a lot of people seem horrified at the idea of trading Adams, he might be the most valuable minor league piece that the Cardinals can afford to do without.

He's blocked at first base for the foreseeable future by Allen Craig and Carlos Beltran will hold down right field for this year and next. Hopefully, by the time Beltran's contract is up, slugging prospect Oscar Tavares will be ready to take over in right field.

While Adams and Tavares both have power bats, Tavares is much more of a complete player. He leads Class AA Springfield with a .322 batting average and 17 homers. He has more than twice as many doubles as anyone else on that team with 25 and has six stolen bases in six tries.

I would much rather see the Birds deal Adams than Tavares. That being said, I'd be thrilled if Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia made miraculous recoveries and the Birds didn't need to deal for pitching at all. But, after slightly more than half a season in the books, it's fairly obvious that this team that was expected to easily win its division, is about a .500 club if it doesn't add some pitching help.

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