(BaseballSTL) -- They say everything’s bigger in Texas. Well, when it comes to your friendly neighborhood selection of shortstops, that just might be true this offseason in Major League baseball. The Cardinals need a shortstop. Everyone with a brain knows that.
The question now is, um, where do they get one?
The easiest route seems to be Boston’s Stephen Drew via free agency. He’s a top notch defender who only requires a contract. No prospects necessary. But that doesn’t mean he’s exactly what this baseball team needs. Drew completely disappeared during the postseason for the Red Sox, hitting just .111 with a .140 on-base percentage. The 30-year old might be serviceable for a couple years but the Cards would then be right back to where they are at this point.
I have a sneaking suspicion GM John Mozeliak wants this problem solved for a long time, if possible. Not just for a couple years.
Which brings us to the Texas Rangers. They’re in the unique position of having too many shortstops if you can believe that. 25-year old Elvis Andrus is coming off a down year offensively (.271 batting average, .328 on-base percentage) but he’s one of the best defenders in the big leagues at shortstop and stole 42 bases this past season. He’s also under contract for another decade due to a recent long term extension.
In addition, the Rangers have top prospect Jurickson Profar ready to take over a more prominent role. The 20-year old was billed as a can’t miss shortstop coming up through their minor league system but struggled in a minor role with the big league team this year. But at his age no one is ready to suggest that has anything to do with his long term value. Everyone believes he’s going to be a star one day.
Yes, Profar could slide over to second base but the Rangers also have Ian Kinsler there. In essence, someone needs to go to maximize the value of those three.
So, let’s recap. The Cardinals need a shortstop in the worst way. The Rangers have too many and might need to deal one. Sounds like a match made in heaven right?
Well, John Mozeliak and Rangers GM Jon Daniels are too smart just to make a deal to make a deal. Both will want fair value in exchange for what they’re giving up. Daniels won’t just hand Andrus or Profar to Mozeliak for nothing. And Mozeliak won’t just hand over a top flight pitcher just because he can.
It’s unclear exactly who the Rangers value most in the Cards organization and whether the Cards would be willing to discuss that. It’s also unclear who the Cardinals would prefer more between Andrus and Profar. Both would have a vastly different market with regards to what they’d fetch in a trade.
I don’t know if something will end up getting done. But I do believe if the Cards have one shot to solve this little shortstop dilemma once and for all it’s going to come with a little help from their friends in the south.