The St. Louis Cardinals had made it clear that they would be looking to deal their impending free agents. That exodus began on Sunday.
First, the Cardinals sent reliever Jordan Hicks to the Blue Jays, with pitching prospects Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse heading to St. Louis. Then Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton were sent packing, heading to the Rangers for infielder Thomas Saggese and pitchers Tekoah Roby and John King.
St. Louis Cardinals facing reality of their situation.
There was some speculation that Hicks would not be traded. The Cardinals were hoping to sign him to an extension, a move that would have taken him off of the trade block. Instead, those talks failed to come to fruition, with the Cardinals moving on.
Hicks made perfect sense for the Blue Jays given concerns in the back of their bullpen. Jordan Romano has been excellent this season but has been battling back issues since the All Star Game. He landed on the Injured List on Saturday, leaving Toronto with a gaping hole in the back of their bullpen. Hicks is a gamble due to his continual control issues, but he is also someone that has closing experience. He should solidify the back of the Blue Jays bullpen until Romano is ready to return.
The Rangers had been looking to further improve their pitching staff even with the acquisitions of Max Scherzer and Aroldis Chapman. Montgomery adds a solid piece to the middle of the Rangers’ rotation while Stratton is a perfect option to shore up the seventh or eighth inning.
St. Louis Cardinals simply reloading, not rebuilding
It is worth noting that the Cardinals are not referring to this as a rebuild. They have every intention of contending next year and into the foreseeable future. While they have stated that young bats could be available, it is to bring in young arms that can help as soon as next season.
The foundation is still there in St. Louis. Their core remains intact. There are problems on the roster, and the Cardinals are in desperate need of pitching help, but this is still a talented team. If they make the right moves in free agency, or their young arms develop, the Cardinals could contend next year as they hope.
The St. Louis Cardinals have begun their fire sale. Jordan Hicks, Jordan Montgomery, and Chris Stratton on just the beginning.