Vaughn: Can the Cardinals find another bat?

Vaughn: Can the Cardinals find another bat?

Credit: Getty Images

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: General manager John Mozeliak on the field before Game One of the 2013 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 23, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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by Doug Vaughn / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 28 at 1:36 PM

ST. LOUIS (BaseballStL) -- The Cardinals have to do something, right?

They have to make some kind of move to improve the offense. At the very least a bat to provide some punch off the bench. If they’re going to do something that involves a player outside of the organization they better hurry. In order for a player not currently in the Cardinals organization to be eligible for postseason play he has to be on the roster before September 1st. So if the Cardinals are going to make a late trade for another bat they need to do it before Monday. 

 
As of Thursday, the Cardinals ranked 29th out of 30 major league teams in runs scored. Only the Padres, who play in enormous Petco Park in San Diego, have scored fewer runs. The Cardinals are 29th out of 30 teams in home runs. They’ve hit exactly one more than the Kansas City Royals. Every other team has more homers. They’re 26th out of 30 in stolen bases. They not only have limited power, but they don’t run much either. That’s a bad recipe for scoring runs. It seems clear the Cardinals need to do something. 

 
There are a number of players who have cleared waivers that could help. Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios of the Texas Rangers come to mind. Both have contracts that would seem reasonable. 

The Dodgers would like to unload Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford, but both are owed a ton of money. Ethier still has another $56 million coming to him after the 2014 season. Crawford is owed $62.5 million after this season. Obviously, the Cardinals would have no interest in either of those two unless Los Angeles kicked in mega-millions to help with their contracts.  
 

Alfonso Soriano could be had on the cheap. He was released by the Yankees, but hasn’t played in more than a month. All of the above mentioned players have been All Star caliber players are some point in their career. It seems more likely if the Cardinals are to make a trade they’d be more interested in a middle of the road type player who wouldn’t come with a hefty price tag, but would still provide an upgrade for the bench. Nobody’s saying exactly who that might be, but it’s safe to assume the Cardinals are doing their due diligence to try to find a player who fits the profile of what they need. 
 

The other option is to bring up the top hitters from AAA-Memphis and hope one or more of them can provide a spark. First baseman Xavier Scruggs is hitting .280 with 20 home runs. Outfielder Tommy Pham is hitting .327 with 10 home runs and 16 stolen bases. Steven Piscotty, the outfielder who was so impressive in spring training, is hitting .284 with 8 homeruns. When the rosters expand, one or more of those three will get a look in September. All three would be eligible for postseason play because they were a part of the Cardinals organization before September 1st. 

 
For now, it seems the Cardinals are banking on Yadier Molina to provide the upgrade the offense so desperately needs. Maybe he can, but it’s asking a lot to expect him, after two months on the disabled list, to carry the club with his bat. It’s hard to imagine the Cardinals front office is confident that the offense, in its current state, is good enough to win the World Series. Maybe, hopefully, they’ll find a way in the next few days to add an impact bat. 
 

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