Clint Frazier, New York Yankees
The Yankees are stacked with outfielders. They could use some pitching depth. The Cardinals are stacked with you pitchers and could really use some power in the outfield. Frazier is coming off of his best season in the bigs. Filling in for Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge for a bulk of his shortened season, Frazier was able to finally show off the skills that had once rated him as one of the top offensive prospects in all of baseball.
Frazier, 26, is still very young and can immediately be an impact bat in the middle of the Cardinals offense. Playing in 39 games in 2020, Frazier hit 8 homers with an ISO of .244. Frazier’s power is the real deal, he hit 12 homers in just 69 games in 2019. He has shown an ability to continue to develop as he was able to have a career high .387 OBP this season while getting a nomination for the gold glove.
The Cardinals could have a chance to grab a talented young hitter that is ready to get full time at bats. The Yankees may not have the interest they once did in Carlos Martinez but a package of Martinez and another young hurler could be enough to grab Frazier. This would be a win for both clubs.
There is no reason not to go after Frazier. The only argument anyone could make is that he is unproven long term. Well all players are at some point and he has had a lot more success at the major league level than O’Neil, Bader, Thomas or Justin Williams.
Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
Why does everyone always talk about the Cardinals getting Nolan Arenado or Francisco Lindor? What about Trevor Story. Like Lindor, Story is a free agent to be in after the 2021 season. The Rockies likely will look to move Story for some assets if they think they will not be able to resign him. His abilities have been overshadowed by his fellow left side of the infield partner Arenado but his numbers match up very well. Story has added speed to the arsenal over the last three seasons. He actually led the league in steals in 2020 with 15.
The power is what will attract potential suitors. His numbers away from Coors have not been great but his six homers in opposing parks last season show that the power will travel. It’s time for the Cardinals to move on from the Paul DeJong experiment. While Lindor seems to be the popular choice Story could come at a cheaper price.
Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
Whit Merrifield is insanely underpaid. He signed a 4-year extension in 2020 worth just $16.25 million. Kansas City is still a few years away from being truly competitive in the American League. They have an asset in Merrifield that they can move for some serious pieces to complete their full rebuild. Merrifield is a perfect fit for the Cardinals at the top of the order. Putting him in front of Golschmidt will immediately be a step up from Kolten Wong and Tommy Edman.
Merrifield has been on the market for most of his career in Kansas City. They are running out of time to move him for top value and could be pressed to do so soon. The Cardinals could get a guy that led the league in hits in 2019, two straight years of an OPS of .800 while stealing 111 bases since his debut in 2017. Merrifield is a hit machine that is the answer for a leadoff spot that has lacked consistency.
Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks
The Cardinals were able to raid the Arizona selling spree two years ago by adding Paul Goldschmidt. There is a new star that Arizona may have lost faith in last year, Ketel Marte. Marte was not the same player in 2020. Coming off of a career year in 2019 a lot was expected of Marte. The Diamondbacks dealt with inconsistencies in the lineup and rotation. Marte and the rest of the team were never able to overcome their slow start.
Marte fits into a similar mold as the aforementioned Merrifield but his youth and potential make him a potential steal. Marte has not been given a chance to excel on a winning team where he is protected in the lineup. Putting him in front of Goldschimdt will force opposing pitchers to throw to challenge him and when he makes contact the results have spoken for themselves.
Marte is locked in to a serviceable contract that will at its max pay him just $12million in the final year. The contract is affordable and will finish in his age 30 season in 2024. He is cheap and has a ceiling that is vastly higher than any option the Cardinals currently have.