Dec. 09, 2016
Cardinals Day Three MLB Winter Meetings. Sign FA Dexter Fowler or Trade Wong For CF Lorenzo Cain
The 2016 MLB Winter Meetings are moving on into day three. Rumors were flying yesterday regarding the St. Louis Cardinals. Offer to free agent centerfielder Dexter Fowler, $60 MM for four years. Or, was that the Toronto Blue Jays that made the offer first. All I know is, the two teams are suitors for Fowler. Reportedly, some feel Fowler would pay less tax in Missouri versus Canada; and, he'd be closer to his hometown, Atlanta.
There were reports spreading like wildfire about Cardinals-Royals "trade" talks for centerfielder CF Lorenzo Cain, closer Wade Davis and SS Alcides Escobar. To KC would be Kolten Wong, Trevor Rosenthal, Jhonny Peralta, and Harrison Bader. Since that report, supposedly the Cubs are in serious talks to bring Davis to Chicago, giving up [possible] their prospect 2B Ian Happ to make the deal. Happ, who is on the top 100 prospects list, was acquired as a first round pick in 2015.
Cardinals have seen much improvement from their top prospect centerfielder Harrison Bader. To deal him would be a a big concession for the Cardinals to land the deal. Bader was a third round pick in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft.
However, reports of the Cardinals preferable want to "build around 2B ". I love my Cardinals, but this fascination the organization has for Wong is a head scratcher to me. We did see some maturity from the 26 year old after he returned from a short stint in Memphis Triple-A last season to "find his bat". Which a heavy bat never really developed in 2016. However, prior to being sent down, he held a .222 BA; after his return, he closed the season with a .240 average. Some improvement, but with few games played, he only had five home runs and 23 RBI/.327 OBP. His strength is in the field. He is a very aggressive second baseman, hands down. To the point of getting in the way of others on the field to make a play. Even though the Cardinals had so much faith in him to ink him a 5 Yr/$25.5 MM deal last spring, in my opinion - trade him. The change of scenery may just do him good. The price is not over the top for the Royals; and, they would be getting a strong second baseman with energy. Along with prospect Bader.
So, in Day Three of the MLB Winter Meetings, what will transpire for the Cardinals. Will a deal be concreted for Fowler? Or, will the Cardinals be bold and bring on board Cain? As Cardinals GM John Mozeliak does so well - talks 'around' what the plan actually is. Statements made, "looking to improve"; but, how serious is he in that venture. Whatever may transpire, I feel the news should be a "POW" - "Shake and Bake" type of decision for the Cardinals team. Bring some new blood in to truly spark the offense and solidify the defense. My hope is they truly don't lessen their decision solely based on Kolten Wong.