Cardinals and Rockies: Potential Trade Partners?

Joel KochSenior Analyst IJuly 25, 2008

Peter Gammons reported Thursday that the Cardinals and Rockies are having discussions about Brian Fuentes. I don't mean they sat down at the table, drank some coffee and shot the breeze. I mean, they were burning up the phone lines.

Gammons was a guest on Mike and Mike in the Morning Friday and talked about the potential deal.

"I [Gammons] have spoken to the Colorado Rockies, and the St. Louis Cardinals are aggressively seeking a trade for [Matt] Holliday and [Brian] Fuentes," Gammons said on the show. "The Rockies expect it to happen before the July 31 trade deadline. We did not discuss the circumstances surrounding the trade, other than the Cardinals want Holliday and Fuentes."

Suddenly, a mere eight hours later, the talks have become more heated. So heated, in fact, a deal could be done within the next few days. And, to top it all off, Holliday's perennial-MVP-candidate name has been added to the mix.


Now the chances of something actually happening is slim. We all know about how deals fall through at the last minute because names and money are argued too much, so the teams pack up their players and go play in someone else's sandbox.

Now, even though specifics of the "deal" are unknown, I have pretty much come up with a few things that will have to be included in the deal.

The Cardinals MUST part ways with Jess Todd or fellow right-handed pitcher Clay Mortenson. No exceptions. Both are top 2007 draft picks who have been breezing through the system. The Rockies will want one or the other to add to their young core.

The Cardinals will have to part with righty Kyle McClellan or lefty Jamie Garcia, as well. The hinge to this is that the Rockies will have to pick up $4 or $5 million of Holliday's 2009 salary. Otherwise, Garcia and McClellan will stay put.

Another name that will have to go is catcher Bryan Anderson. Anderson can fit well into the Rockies' plans. Either as a backup for the future or maybe as a new trading chip to land a starting pitcher.

The Cardinals will more than likely have to part ways with righty Anthony Reyes. A change of scenery could do him well, and the Rockies may want him as part of the package. I doubt the Cardinals will resist, but that remains to be seen.

The Cardinals will also probably have to part ways with right-hander Fernando Salas and outfielder Shane Robinson (a 2006 draft pick). Salas is having a very good year as the closer for the Springfield Cardinals. Match him with Casey Weathers, and the Rockies' long-term bullpen is looking solid with Manny Corpas leading the way.

Robinson is a speedy outfielder who could push Willy Taveras out of the outfield mix. Meaning that they could then move Taveras for another piece of the puzzle.

Also a name to be added to this list is third baseman Allen Craig. Craig is a power hitter who could be a good bat at the major-league level. Plus, if Craig came up and played third, the Rockies could keep Garret Atkins at first and move Todd Helton. Craig is expendable because David Freese is ahead of him and Brett Wallace is behind him.

OK, so let's recap, here. If the Cardinals land Holliday and Fuentes, they would have to give up: Jess Todd/Clay Mortenson, Kyle McClellan/Jaime Garcia (pending $4-5 million of Holliday's 2009 contract picked up by Colorado), Bryan Anderson, Anthony Reyes, Fernando Salas, Shane Robinson and Allen Craig.

That's six players (possibly seven) for two very good ones. Not that bad of a deal for either side. It just depends if the numbers and the players match up. The word on the street is that Rockies have scouted several prospects, though no names were mentioned. Moreover, Colby Rasmus will more than likely not be a part of this deal. If he is, watch the total number of players the Cardinals send to Denver fall off.

Another rumor floating around is that Clint Barmes could be dealt to the Cardinals or be part of this package. If he is, the Cardinals would have to give up a second-tier prospect. This also includes a designating Cesar Izturis for assignment.

I hope this has shed some light on the Matt Holliday and Brian Fuentes trade rumors. Take it as you will.

*I would like to point out my created three-team trade was put on the ESPN Cardinal boards. I had to laugh when I saw some of the responses: http://boards.espn.go.com/boards/mb/mb?sport=mlb&id=stl&tid=3141798&lid=5


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