The possibility that the St. Louis Cardinals trade Albert Pujols before season’s end is a very real option for the Cards.
Instead of the Cardinals watching Pujols walk and get nothing in return, trading him before the 2011 trade deadline would help the Cardinals reload with new talent as they figuring out how to handle life after Pujols.
There will be many teams who will put it all on the line for a chance to trade for the best active player in the MLB, but it’s going to take a lot to pry Pujols out of St. Louis.
A deal will need to involve several players from the major league team, while also including valuable talent from the minors.
This is a list of the 10 players the Cardinals can receive from an Albert Pujols trade and while there will need to be many other players involved to get a deal done, these 10 players should be the center piece each teams offer.
As we saw from the 2010 World Series, 21-year-old Madison Bumgarner has some serious upside.
While Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter head into the final year of their contract, the Cardinals have a decision to make if they want to pick up each player’s option.
If a deal goes through for Pujols with Bumgarner being the centerpiece, then the Cardinals could potential save some time and money by not activating the option for one of their two aces.
Pujols would move to the west coast and the Giants would be an obvious favorite to repeat their World Series victory, while the Cardinals would receive a franchise pitcher for the future and some proven prospects that will make an impact in the coming years.
Mark Teixeira would be an obvious block for Pujols to play first base in New York, but the Yankees may be looking for a season-changing move as their off season hasn’t turned out like the front office probably hoped.
The Yankees could deal for Pujols by putting solid catching prospect Jesus Montero on the block along with some of their prized major league players like Phil Hughes or even Brett Gardner.
The Cards would receive young pitching depth, a speedy outfielder that can relieve Lance Berkman of his everyday outfield duties and a catcher for the future.
Yadier Molina isn’t getting any younger and he would be a perfect candidate to mentor a young player who will eventually be his predecessor when he retires.
The Yankees would presumably have the money and prospects to get the deal done because… well, they’re the freaking Yankees.
Clearly a trade to the Brewers involve Prince Fielder will address the Cards first base vacancy and while it wont be an upgrade at the position by any means, Fielder would be the best first base option for St. Louis if they decide to trade Pujols.
The Brewers would be getting some new blood in their infield that could fit nicely with they additions they’ve made so far this off-season to the pitching staff.
If the Brewers threw in names like Corey Hart and maybe a prospect into the mix, they could create a great deal to acquire Albert Pujols from St. Louis.
The Cardinals should be a little hesitant to trade their best player within the division, but if the deal is right, they could have no other choice.
The Toronto Blue Jays have a legitimate chance of being in contention when the trade deadline looms around, so they could be a potential suitor for Pujols’ services.
A name like Kyle Drabek could be intriguing to the Cardinals as they will look to reload their pitching staff with uncertainty surrounding Carpenter and Wainwright next season.
Drabek is a phenomenal prospect ready to break into the big leagues and has the right tools to become a centerpiece in a Pujols trade.
Also, the Blue Jays are giving Adam Lind one more shot to prove 2010 was a fluke. If he continues to disappoint in 2011, Pujols would be a drastic upgrade at 1B.
The New York Mets are an interesting team when talking about trading for Albert Pujols.
They currently have their first baseman of the future in Ike Davis, but I believe they could surprise some people this year by making a run for the NL Wild Card.
If this is the case, the Mets could be in the talks to acquire Pujols.
Ike Davis would obviously be expendable and it might be a good time to rid themselves of the bad contract signed by Carlos Beltran or Oliver Perez.
The Cardinals agreeing to take Perez is probably a stretch, but I also feel Ollie can surprise some people this year as he seems more determined that ever to make his final year of a three-year deal his best one yet.
Toss in a few upper-level prospects and the Mets could be real buyers for Pujols’ services come the trade deadline.
After watching Starlin Castro for the Cubs this year, he eerily reminds me of Alfonso Soriano. I don’t know what it is: his work ethic, being scrutinized for his in-game mistakes or the fact that their games match up pretty well.
If Pujols were on the block, the Cardinals NL Central rival Chicago Cubs will be calling and may have the most incentive to acquire the first baseman.
The Cubs would be taking away a key piece to a rival’s team while also incredibly upgrading their own lineup.
Granted, it would be a last measure for the Card’s to make a trade like this, but surely anything is possible.
Add in someone like Carlos Marmol or Marlon Byrd plus prospects to sweeten the deal and we could witness a blockbuster trade within the NL Central.
Hearing his name in trade discussion should raise plenty of red flags to any GM involved in those talks.
The questions that continue to remain around Kendry Morales is if he is ready to get back to the Kendry of old after breaking his left leg.
He’s back at spring training, taking hacks and slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things.
The Cardinals would be smart, if dealing with the Angels, to demand Morales in a deal because they would be receiving a proven MVP-caliber first baseman.
Adding a pitcher to the deal like Ervin Santana or Scott Kazmir would help push the deal through and make both sides content.
Arguably one of the best pitchers currently in the game, C.J. Wilson will need to be included in a trade that could land Albert Pujols in a Texas Rangers jersey.
The Rangers have a bounty of young pitching prospects to fill the void left by trading Wilson and the Rangers decision to tryout Neftali Feliz as a starter could remedy this matter instantly.
The Rangers haven’t seemed to be happy with their first baseman situation in the past, dealing Justin Smoak and using a Chris Davis/ Mitch Moreland platoon, but a deal for Pujols will put all these problems to rest.
Wilson will make an immediate impact on he Cards rotation while adding some of the Rangers’ outfield depth to the deal could help the Cardinals make the move.
While the Washington Nationals bask in their catching depth, they could use top catching prospect Wilson Ramos as a trade chip to lure Albert Pujols to come play in the nation’s capital.
Ivan Rodriguez is still the starting catch while Ramos and Jesus Flores wait their turn, so the Nats potentially have the time to figure this one out.
Pujols would be an enormous upgrade over Adam LaRoche and Ramos could continue to learn under Yandier Molia.
Throw in a player like Drew Storen or Doug Slaten plus prospects and the Nats could be looking at something special in their future.
Freeman’s above average defense and solid plate disciple has made him the talk of the town in Atlanta as fans wait for Opening Day.
This could also appeal to the Cardinals as they will look to reload on talent if they eventually decide to part ways with their slugger.
Freeman looks like he will shape up into a consistent hitter, batting for average rather than power, and an above average defender that will replace Pujols in the Cardinals defense very well.
Add in a pitcher like Jair Jurrjens, who the Braves have been shopping recently, plus some upper level prospects and the Braves may be on to something here.