Cardinals open to trade CMart, O'Neill, Thomas

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This topic contains 48 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Brian Walton Brian Walton 1 month ago.

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  • #98324
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    James Mitan
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    I know it makes me seem like I am swayed by O Neill’s current hot streak, but I have long wondered why the Cardinals were not giving O Neill more of a chance… Look at his minor league stats. Very productive. He has speed too. Good Outfielder who can play center.

    An organization hopes to produce a 30 HR guy and he is that. And he doesn’t have any weaknesses other than being a 250-260 hitter… but by this year’s Cardinals averages he would be above average. He can do damage! Heck he might be a 40 HR guy if he plays everyday. If all are healthy, he plays in front of Fowler for me for sure…

    #98326
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    It gets down to how one feels about O’Neill’s strikeouts. Of all active MLB hitters with at least 90 plate appearances this season, he is no. 385 of 385 qualifiers with his 40.0 percent K rate.

    Making matters worse is a walk rate of just 4.4 percent, making his walk to strikeout ratio 0.11. That is second-to-last in MLB (Jorge Alfaro).

    Alex Bregman is the MLB leader in BB/K at 1.32 (17.5% BB, 13.2% K).

    #98327
    stlcard25
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    Based on his minor league numbers, you’d think O’Neill’s Ks would drop with time. I suppose there’s a chance he never figures it out but I’d expect something more like 30% Ks and 8% walks as a starter. That’s not great, but if he’s hitting homers and playing good defense it makes him more than another Grichuk (who never had good walk numbers at any level, unlike O’Neill who was mostly around 10% in the minors).

    #98331
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    atripleshyofthecycle
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    I honestly don’t understand how a report can come out that a team that is a half game out of a playoff spot would be considering trading their current cleanup hitter and their closer – especially considering the front office’s history of always believing they are contenders.

    The only two plausible reasons are that the report is totally bogus (doubtful), or that our front office believes they can thread the needle and both be buyers and sellers and do a partial rebuild mid-season. The latter scares the heck out of me. I’m not really ready to give up on either of these guys.

    The more interesting rebuild mid-season would be to try to move Fowler while he’s productive. I wouldn’t even worry about the return – nothing is fine. But they obviously value O’Neill’s bat more than Fowler’s (presently, not just in the future), and O’Neill is every bit as good on defense. Let him play everyday. Let Bader play everyday. Bader is not as bad as he is showing now, and giving up on him now would be another mistake we’d make with our outfield. Our whole offense is terrible, and it is full of good hitters. How the current hitting coach is getting a pass is beyond me. And they can let Jose Martinez get most of the third OF reps until Ozuna comes back. When he gets back, Martinez can be that bench bat and 4th OF for us, where he proves most valuable.

    I have no real problem with Dexter Fowler, but the team would be better off without his contract. His production is replaceable for far cheaper.

    #98339
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    gscottar
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    I agree with these comments. These players shouldn’t be traded, with the possible exception of Thomas.

    We have to have CMart in the bullpen right now with Hicks out and I would argue he should be back in the rotation next year unless he was part of a blockbuster deal that brought back an even better player. Even so that should happen in the winter not now.

    O’Neill is starting to show his potential. The guy needs to play everyday in order for us to know what we really have. Is he Grichuk 2.0 or does he develop into a Gallo or Schwarber type? Even when Ozuna returns I would play Tyler everyday in CF or RF depending if Bader or Fowler is in the lineup. JMart needs to be traded. Then next season Tyler should get the opportunity to play a lot assuming we don’t bring Ozuna back.

    Of the three, Thomas should be the most expendable. He might be part of a nice package to get a big pitching upgrade, plus Arozarena can probably provide the same level of production.

    All of this discussion is due to a blurb by Ken Rosenthal. I think Roenthal is pretty good at his job but keep in mind that guys like him, Heyman, Nightengale, Bowden, Sherman, Morosi, Passan, etc…. all try to stir up trade ideas this time of year. I guess that is part of their job. We don’t know who Rosenthal actually spoke to come up with this idea but it could have been nothing but taking a flimsy hypothetical and turning it into something that sounds more concrete. It is the silly season so I wouldn’t read too much into it.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #98357
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    Nigel T
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    Carlos should be evaluated on future performance. Shaky shoulders don’t bode well. Further question marks cloud planning.

    #98359
    Brian Walton
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    I can see why testing the market makes sense, however, other teams know his history, too.

    #98363
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    RememberDiz
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    I would not even consider trading O’Neil or Martinez, either one. This seems like trying to put a tourniquet on on your leg after you slit your wrists. To accomplish what? Your problem is that you aren’t getting production from third. If you trade O’Neil, will you end up with a third baseman who can provide offense?

    #98368
    Ratsbuddy
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    The only two guys on the 25 man roster that might – MIGHT – get traded are Fowler and Jose Martinez. And, unfortunately, nobody is going to touch Fowler with that contract. So that means Jose Martinez is likely to be involved. With Ozuna coming back we have our four main outfielders in Bader, Fowler, O’Neill, and Ozuna.

    r/Esteemed Rat

    #98379
    BlackHillsCard
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    People keep saying JMart needs to be traded and while they’re not, the Cardinals tried to trade him and no one wanted him or the Cardinals didn’t like the return.

    #98381
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    gscottar
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    I think it is time to trade him for whatever we can get for him instead of holding out for a big return. His offense no longer justifies his shoddy defense therefore he is doing nothing now but just cluttering our already cluttered outfield.

    #98383
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    PugsleyAddams
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    I’m all for our Redbirds discarding Thomas, Fowler (if his new lucky ballclub covers just 33% of his current contract) and JMart. They could even be all neatly packaged together to make some team’s wildest outfield dreams come to fruition. Thomas-Fowler-Jose may soon overtake Tinkers-Evers-Chance in popularity. All our team asks is a fair return for their valuable services.

    #98388
    bicyclemike
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    O’Neill’s walk and strikeout numbers are not of too much concern to me, because they come with being a power hitter to some degree, and they can be improved upon with experience.

    He has the athleticism and raw power – those are traits you cannot teach. So you take that and let him play, and see what you have.

    I recall not too long ago talking this same way about Tommy Pham. I said the same thing then – you have a guy with raw ability, so you gotta let him play knowing you will go through some tough stretches.

    The Pirates are seeing some rewards now for sticking with Josh Bell through a lot of strikeouts and rough times. But he is maturing into a solid everyday player. I think there is a better than 50/50 chance O’Neill does the same thing, as long as he stays healthy.

    #98419
    Ratsbuddy
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    I think it is time to trade him for whatever we can get for him instead of holding out for a big return. His offense no longer justifies his shoddy defense therefore he is doing nothing now but just cluttering our already cluttered outfield.

    Agreed gscottar.

    Like I have said before, I could tolerate the goofy stuff and poor defense if he was hitting .345 with 25 homeruns and 70 rbi’s. But he’s not even hitting .280 now. He needs to go.

    r/Esteemed Rat

    #98511
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    gscottar
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    #98525
    bicyclemike
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    The VEB article brings in the compensation piece as a prime reason for keeping CMart, and it is indeed a compelling argument. But even without that, trading him would be a mistake unless they somehow got value for him that they would have 2 years ago.

    I like the end of the article where they commented on the Cardinals recent trend of trading guys while their value is low. Both Martinez and O’Neill should be much more valuable with playing time than they are right now. Thomas is more of an unknown.

    #98528
    Brian Walton
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    Trading guys at low or high value can only be accurately measured after the fact. At the time they are traded, no one knows if they are going up or down ahead.

    The age-old challenge is that no one wants to trade guys at their peak – then they are too valuable. And the risk of holding on for low spot guys waiting for them to improve is that it never happens.

    As Branch Rickey famously advised, “Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.” Easier said than done.

    In Martinez’ case, this is clearly not his peak. The fact is that he hasn’t been one of the best pitchers in the NL for well over a year. He has a somewhat mysterious shoulder issue that did not require surgery. There have also been preparation and commitment questions. He might improve and he might not.

    Personally, I would only move him to get a real difference-maker in return. Not a bunch of so-so prospects. But I would consider trading him and I am guessing this is close to the Cardinals’ logic (if Rosenthal’s rumor is valid).

    P.S. Then again, if their primary motive was just to extract the most value from him, they would have him back in the rotation ASAP and use someone else as closer. Martinez’ greatest appeal is as a healthy and productive starter. The fact that they kept him in relief suggests to me trading him is not an urgent matter currently.

    #98531
    Brian Walton
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    Hard to give this too much credibility when Morosi repeatedly says Martinez is making “ace-level salary”, when in reality it is about half that.

    #98532
    Brian Walton
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    P.S. For those who think rumors of trading Carlos Martinez are new, this should be worth a chuckle. Our game thread from exactly one year ago today, July 19, 2018, included talk about… Martinez perhaps being on the trade block.

    https://thecardinalnation.com/forums/topic/2018-reg-seas-game-95-at-cubs-thu-719/

    That rumor came from the NY Post. Remember Martinez to the Yankees?

    Cardinals pitcher enters radar as Yankees and more seek help

    #98535
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    gscottar
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    I have never quite understood the “trade high vs trade low” argument, especially for a team like the Cardinals who are supposedly never sellers. If CMart’s trade value was high then he wouldn’t be a trade candidate right? The Cardinals would want to keep him right? So how could they ever trade him when his value was high?

    I guess the only scenarios in which the Cardinals would trade a player when their value is high would be if there was some kind of personality dispute or if the team absolutely knew they were getting a player in return of equal or better value.

    #98538
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    SoonerinNC
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    If I calculate properly O’Neill has struck out 28% of the time in the last 7 games with no walks. It appears that he is taking better at bats, not going for the bad pitches. His recent success will cause pitchers to pitch him different and the high K’s may reappear. It is a game of adjustments at that level and O’Neill will have to make more adjustments. As they pitch him more carefully he should get more walks. I say he should not be traded unless they get a major league impact player in return.

    Thomas appears to be heating up at Memphis. Unfortunately the injuries have returned this year. Good looking prospect but is he better than Carlson and Arozarena?

    I like Martinez as a closer. He has the right attitude for the job. I’m not sure that anyone else is prepared to step into the role. I’m not ready to deal him unless we get a closer in return.

    Unfortunately after Rickey made that statement his trades of aging stars did not turn out so well. He gave up Curt Davis and Joe MedwicK to the Dodgers for a passel of players with a cumulative WAR of 4.7 after the deal. Davis and Medwick racked up a combined WAR of 29.7 between them after the deal. There was also Chick Hafey 8.5 for a return of -.8, Tex Carleton 7.2 for a -.2 return, Spud Davis 5.6 for a .5 return and Johnny Mize 33.0 for a 9.4 return. I think Mize was traded because he was critical of Rickey for trading and selling minor league players that Mize thought would help the Cardinals in a tight race. Also cash was involved and Rickey had a contract that called for salary plus 10% of Cardinal profits before taxes. Don’t get me wrong Rickey was a baseball genious. He was innovative and surrounded himself with a superb team of scouts. But the only trades that provided major benefits for the Cardinals came early in his career with the team. Pete Alexander, Billy Southworth and Burliegh Grimes. He also picked up Durocher who helped the 34 Cardinals win the world series but he gave up a young Paul Derringer to get him, who went on to win over 200 games and 39.0 WAR in his career.

    #98544
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    It has been well-documented that Rickey made what looked like bad trades to save/make money for the team and also make more money for himself. Fortunately, today’s Cardinals are not driven the same way.

    #98782
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    gscottar
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    This is just a follow up to the original story but this quote by Mo stood out to me. It doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

    But Mozeliak informed Goold, “We don’t know where we need to go to change our team.

    #98788
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Surprising candor from Mo. They are not in a good place, as we all know.

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