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Reports of heightened trade talks between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals don’t make much sense.
Per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Cardinals and Nationals have been engaged in trade talks for some time now. While some of that trade talk is about necessary pitching upgrades, St. Louis is also interested in sluggers Nelson Cruz and Josh Bell.
This, however, doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Cruz is having a down year, and wouldn’t even fit into the Cards’ everyday lineup as a DH. He’d essentially be a part-time player. Bell is a first baseman, which also doesn’t fit given Paul Goldschmidt currently mans that position at Busch Stadium.
Cardinals need pitching, not slugging, from Washington
FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray considered the above details ‘surprising’ in a recent article on Redbird Rants.
“The odds of either Bell or Cruz ending up in St. Louis would appear to be low, as the Cardinals are prioritizing pitching upgrades,” Murray wrote.
Luis Castillo, Frankie Montas and other top pitching targets are squarely on St. Louis’ radar after Jack Flaherty was placed on the 60-day IL. If the Cards hope to contend in the NL Central with the likes of the Milwaukee Brewers, and make a playoff push beyond that, they need to acquire some pitching to go along with veteran Adam Wainwright. Free-agent acquisition Steven Matz has been a disappointment to say the least.
Trading for Cruz or Bell will not hurt matters, but it will take away potential assets which could be better spent on pitching upgrades.