Cheap Seats

Should Cardinals fans be encouraged by Astros leak?

The story about the leaked Houston Astros trade notes made me feel a little bit better about the world of fantasy baseball.

The main thing we learned from them is that real life front-office types are as unrealistic as their fantasy baseball counterparts when it comes to trying to craft a deal. Apparently I'm not the only one who is offered poorly performing pitchers that are on the verge of being released in exchange for my three best hitters.

The other thing we can glean from these notes, however, is that Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is apparently gettable at a relatively reasonable price.

According to the Astros stolen notes, Miami wanted top prospects George Springer and Carlos Correa in exchange for the 24-year-old slugger who is hitting .313 with 21 homers this season. Houston offered Delino DeShields Jr. and Jarred Cosart but was rebuffed.

Two top prospects is a steep price to pay. But it seems very reasonable when you're talking about getting a top performer back who has just entered his prime. If the Cardinals were able to pull off signing Stanton to a long-term deal before he reaches free agency, it would be a steal.

There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the Cardinals being willing to part with top prospect Oscar Taveras, Springer's peer in terms of talent and value, as part of a package for Tampa Bay Pitcher David Price. Wouldn't it make more sense, with the St. Louis offense near the bottom of the National League charts in terms of production, to trade your best chip for one of the top three hitters in the Senior Circuit?

The ask from the Astros was their two top outfield prospects. The Cardinals could match with Taveras and Stephen Piscotty who is hitting .312 with five homers and 45 RBIs in Class AAA Memphis. It seems most potential trade partners want the Birds' young pitching. He's hurt, so he's off the table, but I wouldn't include Wacha in any deal if I were St. Louis GM John Mozeliak. But I might be willing to part with highly-regarded pitching prospect Carlos Gonzales to land Stanton if was calling the shots for the Cardinals.

The deal would be something the Marlins could sell to their fans as too good to pass up. And the Cardinals not only would have a better chance of winning right now. They'd be well set for the future with Stanton assuming the role of the team's marquee player as Matt Holliday enters the final third of his tenure with the club. 

Stanton has been reluctant to sign a long deal with the Marlins for obvious reasons. The club aborted its only effort in recent years to compete when it signed Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell and then traded them all in less than a season. They have a $45 million payroll and play to a mostly empty house on a daily basis -- despite the opening recently of a brand new ballpark.

Hopefully he'd be happy to sign on with a competitive club that can prove its dedication to win by showing him the four National League Pennants and two World Series trophies it has won over the past decade.

While it would hurt to lose Gonzales, the Cardinals know they couldn't keep all of their young hurlers forever. There simply aren't enough spots for them. And they still have a lot of outfield talent coming up in the form of James Ramsey and Randal Grichuck -- although Stanton would hopefully man right field for the next 8-10 years.

I'm not dying to see the Cardinals trade Taveras. But if they're going to, they ought to get something that is actually going to make a difference not only now but for years to come instead of a pitcher who isn't going to address their primary need now -- and who will be gone in less than a year and a half.