(BaseballStL) -- Let me preface this by saying I have no clue if this man is really and truly available on the trade market. Even if he is, I have less than a clue what Blues Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos seeks in return.
But all things being equal, the St. Louis Cardinals absolutely need right fielder Jose Bautista on their team in 2015 and beyond. When this offseason began, the Cards were in need of more offense. After the tragic loss of Oscar Taveras in a car accident that need has been amplified tenfold.
As sad and horrible as that is to admit, it’s true.
The Cards now don’t just need offense. They need mucho primo superman offense (translation: a 3-4 hitter who strikes fear into opponents). Taveras was supposed to be that guy. He was the only hope to internally develop into a middle of the order hitter.
Now the Redbirds are left with a 35-year old (on Opening Day) Matt Holliday, Matt Adams (struggles against lefties), Jhonny Peralta (a nice piece in an order but not someone to project hitting clean up all year) and TBD in right field.
Other everyday starters such as Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Jon Jay and Yadier Molina don’t figure to hit 3rd or 4th.
An impact bat is required. Bautista can be that man.
Even at 34-years old he still had a .928 OPS last year to go along with 35 home runs. Bautista even gets on base a lot (.403 OBP in 2014). Oh, and by the way, 1st base isn’t foreign to him. He could play 1stagainst left-handed pitchers which would allow Mike Matheny to effectively platoon Randal Grichuk and Matt Adams. Pretty nice, huh?
The 10-year veteran absolutely defines what the Cards are in desperate need of moving forward.
Other names being thrown about like Baltimore’s Nick Markakis – who possesses a .729 OPS and 14 home runs – just aren’t enough. If Cards GM John Mozeliak can’t get a big time bat in here then he may as well just fork over right field to Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty.
They’d do a solid if unspectacular job. May as well give them at-bats to further their development than go with someone who isn’t a middle of the order force.
But if Bautista is really and truly available with Toronto close to hitting the reset button, Mozeliak needs to find a way to make this happen. Could that require surrendering Carlos Martinez or another talented young player in a trade? Maybe.
Desperate times call for desperate measures though. This club needs offense in the worst way. Making the Cardinals a little bit older and sacrificing a little bit of the future to take care of the now might be the right move.
The Cards can’t think about 2017. 2015 is in serious jeopardy.