The St. Louis Cardinals have a tremendous asset in first baseman Matt Adams but no place to put him other than the bench. With no DH in the NL, Allen Craig cemented at first and Adams inability to play anywhere else in the field, the Cardinals hands are tied.
You could argue right away that he’ll get more opportunities now that the Houston Astros have moved to the American League, thereby allowing many more interleague games, or that Craig is able to be moved to the outfield should injury befell one of the starters. The latter scenario would more likely ‘force’ St. Louis to promote star prospect Oscar Taveras.
The Cardinals are a deep ball club, but where they are not is the most important on their roster — the bullpen. It has been the bane of the Cardinals in past seasons and with the shoddy performances early in 2013, you’d have to assume its going to continue given the current personnel.
Oh, and now they may have lost the best closer they’ve had in years to Tommy John surgery.
That leaves a gaping hole that will need to be filled before its too late. I believed that Mitchell Boggs would be serviceable until Jason Motte returned, or that Trevor Rosenthal could handle the job if Boggs could not. It’s starting to look like neither will be able to.
That is why its time to start shopping Adams around. The guy is going to be a tremendous hitter but his position availability severely limits him. I believe Adams would be best suited for the American League where he can not only play first, but DH as well. The AL team John Mozelak should contact is the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals have two guys in their pen that could be great closers – Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera. If I’m Moz, I ask for Herrera, who has a tremendous changeup, as the organization is showing a tendency to go with Holland as the closer.
In 84.1 innings last season, Herrera had a 2.35 ERA with a 2.70 FIP and a four to one K/BB rate. Like Adams, Herrera is young and has a history of success in the minors. The difference is that Herrera has a full season under his belt and Adams does not, meaning that the Royals may as for a tad more than just Adams.
You might ask what, then, do the Royals do with Adams? They probably ought to get Jeff Francoeur out of their everyday lineup and their current DH, Billy Butler, has outfield experience. Let Adams and Eric Hosmer rotate at DH at first. The Royals need the power in the lineup and are also pushing towards a ‘win now’ mentality after the trade for pitcher James Shields.
The Cardinals are going to realize — if they haven’t already — that they will struggle without a bona fide closer in their bullpen, and a trade with the Royals are just one option. They need to do their best to work Adams into the lineup as much as they can to increase his stock and sell high on him. I’m sure Cardinal Nation would hate to see him go but the need is without a doubt in the bullpen right now.