While many feel that the St. Louis Cardinals are unlikely to make a big deal at the non-waiver trade deadline because the price of veteran talent is currently so high, there are still at least a couple of rumors floating about involving them.
First, the Cardinals just can't get away from Jake Peavy despite the fact that the Chicago White Sox are allegedly asking for the moon and stars in return for a hurler on the wrong side of 30 who hasn't pitched a full, healthy season in about half a decade.
The NY Post reports that the Cardinals are one of three teams, Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox being the other two, still in on Peavy. Other reports indicate the Arizona Diamondbacks are also a favorite.
Meanwhile, the White Sox, who scratched Peavy from his scheduled start today have suddenly listed him as their probable starter Wednesday.
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Are the Pale Hose having second thoughts -- or are the just playing coy? Their resort to such a high-pressure sales tactic makes me think maybe they're not getting their ransom demand of three prospects for Peavy. And the only way I see Jake pitching for the Cardinals is if GM John Mozeliak is able to force the White Sox to come crawling back to the table after other options fail.
Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers are said by Fox Sports to be open to dealing anyone on their big league roster, including shortstop Elvis Andrus.
Andrus was rumored to be a potential target of the Cardinals during spring training. But the Rangers ended up signing him to a mega contract deal for $120 million and it seemed like Andrus was in Arlington to stay.
Would it make Andrus more or less appealing now that he has a huge, long term contract? Obviously the money is an issue. But wouldn't the Cardinals be more willing to trade prospects for a player they could control over the long haul as opposed to a short term rental?
Andrus makes $15 million a year from 2015-20 and then goes down to $14 million a year from 2021-22. That's a ton of dough. By the Cardinals have been linked to Alexei Ramirez who is much less of a weapon both in the field and at the plate. And he averages $10 million a year...
The thing that worries me about Andrus is that he is having a down season. That's something that sometimes happens when a guy tries to justify a new deal. But his .250 batting average is 21 points lower than his career average. Meanwhile Andrus has a pathetic .289 slugging percentage and a Ramirez-like .310 on-base percentage.
He's only 24, so it's unlikely that Andrus has suddenly hit a wall. But I would feel much better about a potential deal if his numbers were more near his average season. The three years prior to this one his on base percentage hovered around the .350 mark. Plus he's been a guy who averages 34 stolen bases a year.
Another potential trade target for the Cardinals is Texas closer Joe Nathan who allows .84 runners an inning with an earned run average of 1.73.
The problem with any potential deal with the Rangers is that Texas is still a strong playoff contender. So it wants major league-ready players who can help them win this year. And I don't know if the Redbirds can afford to make a mutually beneficial deal while trying to win the big prize for themselves.