The St. Louis Cardinals have been known to have a rich farm system, especially for having a deal of young major-league ready pitchers. This has always been their secret weapon and this offseason I think they should execute their plan to acquire a big time power bat. The only way of doing so, is to part with some of their farm system.
The Cardinals have something rare in right-hander, Alex Reyes. Reyes, 23, missed all of the 2017 season due to Tommy John Surgery. The #14 ranked prospect (MLB Pipeline) has a fastball that can reach 100 mph and is rated a 75, on the 20-80 rating scale. In 12 appearances in 2016, Reyes impressed with a 1.57 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 46 innings.
If the Cardinals are serious about trading for a power bat this offseason, such as Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton or Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson, they may need to cut Reyes loose. Both teams are going to ask about Reyes and realistically the only way the Cardinals will acquire both sluggers, would be by trading Reyes, as the headliner.
The party does not stop at Reyes. The Red Birds have talented pitchers Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver waiting in the wing. If the Cardinals plan to trade some of their prospects this offseason, you may hear these names quite frequently.
Weaver, 24, awed Major League Baseball in his second stint in the big leagues. In 13 appearances this season, Weaver went 7-2 in 60 innings, with a 3.88 ERA and 72 strikeouts. Weaver has "above-average" control and a high 90's mph fastball. Weaver may be on someone's wish list this offseason. If I am the Cardinals, I would ship him out of the Midwest for some big time talent.
The Cardinals have another potential ace in their organization in Jack Flaherty. The 21-year-old righty had an impressive year in AA and AAA. In 25 starts between the two levels, Flaherty went 14-4 with a phenomenal 2.18 ERA in 148.2 innings with 147 strikeouts. Flaherty appeared in the majors six times in September, and he had a 6.33 ERA. Obviously, he had the big-league jitters. He is expected to be on the major league roster opening day next year. He mainly utilizes his fastball, which ranges in the low 90 mph range. He has excellent command of his fastball and he is not scared to throw it.
The Cardinals also have Sandy Alcantara and Dakota Hudson, who opened some eye lids too.
Alcantara has potential to be a lights-out closer. The 22-year-old has an Aroldis Chapman fastball. He is literally the righty version of Chapman. His fastball reaches the 100 mph range with ease. Alcantara appeared in this big leagues this season and impressed during his September stint.
Hudson, 23, is seemingly around the corner from his shot in the big leagues. It is safe to assume the righty will be seen in the majors around mid-year next season. In both AA and AAA, the righty went 10-5 with a 3.01 ERA in 25 starts.
The Cardinals have a lot to deal with this offseason after missing the postseason in 2017. Many speculate the Cardinals will try to land a power bat. If they want to get Donaldson and Stanton, you can expect at least two of these pitchers to be wearing new uniforms next season.
This week in baseball featured a lot of news. This past extended weekend featured a lot of Memorial Day festivities to honor the men and women who have risked their lives to protect the citizens of the United States of America.
Here is a recap of what happened this week:
Angels' superstar outfielder Mike Trout, is expected to miss 6-8 weeks of baseball action, due to a torn thumb ligament. He had surgery on Wednesday (5/31). He injured his thumb, when he was sliding into second base on Sunday.
Former Republican Presidential Candidate and the 43rd Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, dropped out of the running to purchase the Miami Marlins. Bush was expected to be the control person of the group of investors trying to purchase the team.
Nationals' OF Bryce Harper and Giants' RHP Hunter Strickland were the leaders of a brawl, which broke out between the two teams. Strickland threw a 98 MPH fastball at Harper's hip. Harper charged the mound, leading to several punches between the duo. Harper was originally suspended 4 games for his actions, but the suspension was reduced to 3 games, while Strickland was suspended for 6 games.
The Cardinals decided to release veteran reliever Jonathan Broxton. The 33-year-old righty struggled, a lot early, as he posted a 6.89 ERA in just 15.2 innings.
The Rangers also cut one their former star relievers. They decided on Thursday to designate RHP Sam Dyson for assignment. Their intent is to trade the former closer. Dyson struggled early on, as he has allowed 20 earned runs and 31 hits in 16.2 innings. Dyson owns an ERA of 10.80.
The St. Louis Cardinals and outfielder Stephen Piscotty have agreed to a six-year extension, worth $33.5 million. Jon Morosi of MLB Network was the first to report that both sides were progressing towards an extension earlier today.
Piscotty, 26, was not expected to become a free agent until after the 2021 season. This is a great deal for the Cardinals because Piscotty is one of the top young outfielders in the big leagues.
Piscotty only has two years of MLB experience. He was once a top prospect in the minor leagues. Before making his major debut at 24 years old in 2015, Piscotty was ranked No. 57 on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Chart.
Piscotty owns a career .282/.349/.467 slash line, while earning 231 hits, with 29 career HRs and 124 RBIs. In his big breakout season last year, Piscotty had a slash line of .273/.343/.457, while collecting 159 hits, 35 doubles, 22 HRs, and 85 RBIs in 582 at bats.
*career stats include the 2017 season
The St. Louis Cardinals and star catcher Yadier Molina have agreed to a three year extension. The extension is worth between $55 million and $65 million. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was the first to report both sides were nearing a deal and the financial terms. FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report both sides have agreed to the deal.
This is a great deal for both sides. Molina is a clubhouse leader and is considered to be a future member of the Hall of Fame.
Molina, 34, is one of the most successful catchers in baseball. He has been a Cardinal all of his career. Molina has led them to numerous postseason appearances and two world series rings. Molina reached the majors at the age of 21 and since then, his career has taken off.
He has seven career all star game appearances and has taken home eight consecutive gold gloves (2008-2015). He has also finished in the top five for the NL MVP award two times.
Molina, over his 13 year career, is a .285/.338/.400 hitter, with 1593 hits, 108 HRs, and 703 RBIs. He also has 308 career doubles. His career fielding percentage at the catcher position is a solid .995%. Molina, who has a bullet for an arm, has thrown out 42% of runners trying to steal a base.