ST. LOUIS -- As the ink is still drying on the Cardinals’ deal with RHP Mike Leake, reports have surfaced the club is continuing to poke around in the Colorado outfield.
According to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi, St. Louis remains involved in discussions with the Rockies about a potential deal, and the mile-highers aren’t shying away from talking about any of their starting outfielders.
Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson all had double digit home runs and hit better than .270 last season, with Gonzalez pacing the power numbers.
The 30-year-old had 40 homers and 97 RBI, finishing in the top three in several power categories among NL outfielders and taking home a Silver Slugger. He has two years and $37 million left on his contract and is a three-time Gold Glove winner, making him an affordable comp to the recently departed Jason Heyward.
However while his contract is cheap, the ask from the Rockies certainly won’t be. The Cardinals may not be able to get Gonzalez without gashing their supply of cost-controlled assets, which means GM John Mozeliak may prefer to look toward Blackmon and Dickerson.
The 29-year-old Blackmon is first-year arbitration eligible, having just finished back-to-back 150+ game seasons. He’s hit .288 and .287 in his first two full seasons, clubbing 36 homers over those two years. Blackmon is defensively versatile, spending time in all three outfield positions in all but one of his five years in the majors.
Dickerson is the youngest of the group (26), and has played only 265 games over his three seasons. He has tremendous offensive promise, posting a line of .312/.364/.567 in 131 games in 2014.
Last season he played only 65 games due to injury, but hit .304 with 10 home runs in 234 plate appearances. He’s hit 39 homers in just 265 games. More important to the Cardinals operating principles, he’s not arbitration eligible until 2017 and not a free agent until 2020; and given his shortened season he may be less painful to acquire than Gonzalez or Blackmon.