Cliff Lee to the St. Louis Cardinals Trade Possibility
As I sit here waiting for my boring accounting professor to get done talking with some 60-year-old woman, it occurs to me that I haven't written anything in two months. Call it annoyance with the fact that no one reads my articles.
Read this article!
Anyway, you've probably heard that the St. Louis Cardinals need another starting pitcher.
Kyle Lohse had his forearm surgically repaired and even though his rehab is moving quickly, it doesn't mean he is close to rejoining the roster. Mainly, in my opinion, he shouldn't be allowed to rejoin the roster. Let the forearm heal. Throw batting practice into the start of August, then give him a month rehab assignment.
As a reliever.
The Cardinals could use another arm in that bullpen, and for a September stretch drive, Lohse would be good to use. Let him come back that way, then rejoin the rotation next spring.
Alas, I have returned to finish me stories, ye hearties.
Gotta reiterate a point here to get my brain back on the thinking track: Lohse joining the bullpen for a month would show if Lohse can return to form, and would give him a chance to work out any type of kinks he may have in short stints.
For Brad Penny, he needs to return to the rotation. He was throwing well and everything was getting ready to click when he went down. A deal for Lee would give him time to get healthy and be back before August starts.
Oh, did I mention that a deal for a Lee would get rid of Jeff Suppan? Yeah, thought that might cheer you up.
Let's get down and dirty here, whatcha say?
Players on the move:
To Mariners: C Chris Snyder (ARI), 1B/OF Mark Hamilton (STL), 1B/3B/OF Allen Craig (STL), RHP Casey Mulligan (STL), LHP Evan MacLane (STL), OF Tyler Henley (STL)
To Diamondbacks: SS Pete Kozma (STL), OF Daryl Jones (STL), C Bryan Anderson (STL), 1B/OF Dennis Raben
To Cardinals: SS Stephen Drew (ARI), LHP Cliff Lee (SEA)
Let's break it down. The Mariners need a catcher, and with Snyder a free agent at the end of the season, he fits this need perfectly. Snyder was hitting well with Miguel Montero on the mend early on, but Montero back in the lineup, Snyder has been getting less play time.
In come the Mariners. They need Snyder, and Snyder needs the Mariners. If Snyder is going to get any kind of contract this off-season, Snyder needs to play and he won't play in Arizona.
As for Hamilton and Craig, both are strong hitters. Craig has over 60 runs batted in in just 61 games at Triple A. He hasn't done much at the Major League level, but chalk that up to sporadic starts and too much pinch hitting for a kid that has always been a starter.
Drafted in 2007 as a senior in college, Craig is a bat that Jack Zduriencik, General Manager of the Mariners, wants for Lee. Add in Hamilton, who is a decent fielding first baseman with a big left handed bat, and Zduriencik will be happy.
Neither Craig or Hamilton have a spot in St. Louis. There's this player named Albert Pujols at first base, you might have heard about that guy, who isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
With Matt Holliday in the first year of a seven year contract, and Ryan Ludwick bound for a four year contract this off-season, neither will see starting time under the Arch.
Different story for a rebuilding Mariners team. They need big bats like these two that the team can add to its core. Craig at designated hitter and Hamilton at first (or vice verse), the Mariners would be in good shape.
As for Henley, the Mariners add another power hitting left handed bat. Henley has struggled in a brief exposure at the Triple A level this year, but his stats add up.
He plays the corner outfield and would fight with Michael Saunders for the every day left field job in 2012 when Milton Bradley had left via free agency.
Mulligan, who I describe as Jason Motte version 2 (with better command and movement), could join the beleaguered Mariner bullpen right away.
MacLane could join the bullpen as well, or the rotation. He is more of a throw-in for the deal. Drafted in 2003 by the New York Mets, he rose quickly through their system and appeared at the Triple A level.
He was traded for an outfielder by the name of Shawn Green (might have heard of that guy, right?) in 2006 and pitched for Arizona's Triple A affiliate every season since that trade.
We was traded to the Cardinals and assigned to Triple A, again, in 2009. He has been there ever since, with the exception of sitting on the bullpen bench for two days without appearing in a game for the Cardinals at the end of May.
MacLane is a good arm. He is older, but he is left handed and has put up good numbers at Triple A in his career. If given the chance, the Mariners would add a quality arm to their arsenal.
For the Diamondbacks, they make a nice haul.
Essentially, the Diamondbacks deal Snyder for Raben, a 23 year old left handed hitter with good power.
From the Cardinals, they land two highly regarded prospects who have stalled in the St. Louis system.
Kozma, a glove first shortstop and former first round pick (2007) of the Cardinals, hasn't hit well at any system. It isn't like he is allergic to ash bats, he just isn't amazing.
He is a good on-base guy, and has flashed some power with eight home runs this season. By changing organizations, Kozma could get a fresh start and get going. It is an 'if,' by Kozma can be a Major League player. Utility or starter is up in the air, but worth the gamble.
For Jones, he too has stalled. He had a breakout 2008 campaign, and then injured his knees last season and hasn't fully recovered this season. Changing organizations for him could do well, like going to Triple A for once and seeing if he can get restarted.
If healthy, Jones is a difference maker. His speed, double ability, and strong defense makes him a star in the making...if he can stay healthy. Another risk worth taking.
Anderson is an offensive catcher with average defensive skills. He won't likely be a backup for the Cardinals as Dave Duncan likes to have a veteran backup Yadier Molina. For the Diamondbacks, though, he could create competition with Montero.
Like Montero, Anderson is left handed. He hits for a fair amount of power and is an average defensive catcher. He isn't the left handed version of Molina, let's put it that way.
For the Cardinals, they add another Cy Young winner to complement their one winner (Chris Carpenter) and their one screwed-over winner (Adam Wainwright), along with their budding left-handed ace (Jamie Garcia).
Throw in Penny to the mix, and this rotation is unstoppable.
Add Drew to the offense, and the Cardinals ill have a bat for the two hole. Drew, Skip Schumaker, Felipe Lopez, and Brendan Ryan can be used on a carousel to keep everyone fresh, with Lopez and Ryan play 2B and SS.
Ryan and Lopez would also serve as the utility infielders on the bench, meaning that Aaron Miles is out of job. Couple that with a release of Suppan, and a release of Randy Winn when Ludwick returns from the DL, the Cardinals offense and pitching will be in fine shape.
Hope you all enjoyed this. Remember, this is my own speculation/hope. I haven't heard Drew's name attached to the Cardinals, and I haven't heard any names from the Cardinals involved in a possible Lee scenario (though the Cardinals are among the handful of teams scouting Lee).
I also haven't heard Snyder's name attached to the Mariners. My own speculation.
Serious discussion only, please. Name calling, insults, bad language can go elsewhere. Be adults. Be kind to each other.
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