All off-season the Cardinals have been connected to a hitter. The only one the team has added is super-utility player, Jedd Gyorko. John Mozeliak is rather unpredictable, he has no reason to show any of this cards but after indicating the club would not sign a high-salary player and then giving a large contract to Mike Leake shortly after leaves the door open.
So it is within possibility the Mozeliak would make a move. The market is setting up for a prudent, financial-savvy GM to get a better deal on a bat, which would be a positive sign for the possibility of the Cardinals adding another player.
Yet, Mo was on record stating he was comfortable with the players that are currently on the roster. He had indicated he did not want to take time and development away from someone he thinks that could produce at the MLB level.
But, the Rockies and Cardinals were reported to have discussions over one of their outfielders. This past week the Rockies reached a deal with outfielder, Gerardo Parra to a three-year, $27.5 million deal.
The Parra signing adds to the depth of outfielders the Rockies have including starters: Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson. All three hitters are left-handed just like Parra. Gonzalez is the most likely trade candidate of the three incumbent outfielders as he is set to make $37MM over the next two seasons – a steep price for the Rockies organization. Gonzalez at age 30, also happens to be the oldest among the trio.
Blackmon and Dickerson are both under team control for three and four more seasons respectively. As a rebuilding team, it is more like the Rockies would like to build around Blackmon and Dickerson while unloading a large contract like Gonzalez and receiving prospects in return.
Gonzalez has spent most of his recent defensive days playing right field but has significant playing time in left field (his most games are in left field but spent all of 2015 in right).
Through his 8-year career he has hit .290/.347/.524 with 176 home runs, 554 RBI, 112 stolen bases, 191 doubles, 570 runs scored.
Earlier in his career he was more of a threat to steal 20 bases and hit 20 home runs, accomplishing that feature four times in his career. Yet, the past two seasons has a combined total of 5 stolen bases.
The two-time all-star and one-time top MVP candidate has hit at least 20 home runs three times, 30 home runs one time and 40 home runs once – this past season. He led the league in average in 2010, hitting .336 and has hit over. 300 three total times. The past two seasons he has hit .238 and .271.
Injuries have been a problem for CarGo, in 2009 he played in just 89 games, in 2013 he played 110, in 2014 he played in just 70. In 2011 and 2012 he did not play over 140 games in each of those seasons. The most games he has played in one season in his career was 2015, which was 153 games played and he posted much better numbers from his injury-plagued 2014. Yet, his batting over of .271 was a significant drop off from his 2013 total of .302 when he also hit 26 home runs and stole 21 bases.
Gonzalez also has an ugly home/road split stats which should hurt his value. Take a look for yourself at the stats provided by Baseball Reference:
The most glaring is the slash line at home of .324/.382/.604 with 106 home runs in 460 games compared to 454 games and a slash line of .255/.310/.441. He also has 455 strikeouts on the road compared to just 372 at home. He is simply a much, much better hitter Coors than he is elsewhere.
Reasons the Rockies would not trade one of their players?
Injuries come to mind as the Gonzalez, Dickerson and Blackmon never seem to be healthy at the same time. Parra’s contract can be considered value for a 3rd or 4th outfielder, so it is not out of the question they keep all four. Blackmon also struggles on the road and it is a possibility they platoon these players more often to create offense away from home.
The Cardinals would have the advantage of having a player for just two-seasons, compared to 5+ years if they were to pursue Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton or Chris Davis. This would give the club the future flexibility they are looking for but would come at the deep price of prospects for a trade and millions of dollars owed.
There is also no guarantee he is going to be one of the top hitters in the league away from Coors. Matt Holliday managed to find success in St. Louis, could another Rockie?
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America