It was rumored throughout the game Sunday night that something was up with Cardinals starter, Lance Lynn, who was consistently throwing high 80’s even though he has been consistently low to mid 90’s all year. He took longer than usual to get back on the pitcher’s mound, and was seen constantly shaking his arm. The trainers came out several times to check on him, but he continued to nurse through what was bothering him. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Lance Lynn was dealing with forearm tightness and has since headed back to St. Louis to get an MRI. Another crucial blow to the Cardinals who have already seen Adam Wainwright, Matt Adams, and Matt Holliday go down with injuries. Cardinals have yet to respond to the severity of Lynn’s injury, but if it comes down to a longer than normal DL stint, the Cardinals might move to desperation mode and make a trade for starting pitching.
David Price is the first BIG name that comes to mind that the Cardinals should make a move for. As the Tigers seem to be falling out of contention already with the surging Royals and Twins clubs, this might put them in a position to make a deal by the trade deadline. Price, who will be a free agent after the season, would make sense as a top of the rotation starter that the Cardinals have lost in both Wainwright and Lynn. If the Cardinals want to continue their ways with the MLB’s best record and best chance of a World Series contention, giving up a package of prospects for Price would be ideal, especially if they could sign him to an extension at seasons end knowing that Wainwright is getting older and having a 1-2-3 punch of Lynn, Price, and Wacha for the future. Price, 29, is 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA, has been linked to the Cardinals before, and has been open about playing for such a great fan base.
Cole Hamels could be another way to go for the Cardinals, whom the Cardinals have been linked to for as long as I can remember. Hamels, 31, is 5-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 13 games for the offensive struggling Phillies. It was recorded in the offseason that Hamels wanted out of Philadelphia after seeing the team struggle in recent years. He is signed through 2018 with roughly 95 million dollars left and a 20 million club option for 2019 that would likely need to be picked up for him to accept a trade. Given most pitchers with his credentials are getting near 150-200 million dollars in free agency, 115 million seems to be a team friendly deal. A Hamels trade would more than likely dig deep into our farm system to strike a deal, but given his consistency and passion for playing for a contending team, this could be a way to go and another way of solidifying our rotation for years.
There is also another way the Cardinals could look at this: If Lynn does not require a DL stint or a short stint and Garcia continues to do as well as he has in his first 4 starts since his shoulder injury, they could go for someone who does not come with a hefty price tag to put in to the back end of the rotation. Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics or Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago White Sox come to mind. Both reliable starters to get you at least 6 innings of work and keep you in the game, day in and day out.
Kazmir, who has seen his career revitalized with his stints in Cleveland and Oakland after horrendous times post trade from the Tampa Bay Rays, would be an inexpensive piece that is putting up solid numbers for a rebuilding A’s team. Kazmir, 2-4 3.14 ERA in 11 starts, is putting up these numbers with a team that is already 11 games back of first place and is always looking to strike a deal with General Manager, Billy Beane, at the helm. Kazmir, 32, would be a free agent at the end of the season and would come at a cheap price with roughly 7-9 million dollars left on his contract.
Samardzija, a free agent to be, has slumped in his time with the Chicago White Sox after a trade with the Oakland Athletics this off-season. Samardzija, 4-4 4.93 ERA in 12 starts, could be the number three guy in the Cardinals rotation, easily showing that his name should be a part of the elite pitcher’s in the game, with a change of scenery. The Cardinals have been known to take guys who have struggled through a season and turn them into consistent starters, hence with Edwin Jackson in 2011 of the the Blue Jays and Jake Westbrook of the Indians in 2010.
Some other names that could be thrown out there for the Cardinals to go after would Matt Latos of the Marlins, Kyle Lohse of the Brewers, and Kyle Kendrick of the Rockies.
For me, the acquisition of David Price would solidify the Cardinals as having the best rotation even in the absence on Wainwright for the season. If Lynn can avoid the DL for a long period of time, having Price and Wacha as a 1-2 punch with Lynn, Garcia, and Martinez filling out the rotation give the Cardinals the best chance at another World Series run with the opportunity to bring Price back for the future. Now the Cardinals are not known to go big at the trade deadline, but in the wake of major injuries to some of our core players, this might just be the time for the Cardinals to make a bold move, as some of the stars we have grown to love, begin to feel the effects of the daily grind in baseball.