A couple weeks ago the Cardinals made a good trade in my opinion. While Mark Derosa has never been an All-Star caliber third baseman, he is a certain upgrade at the position and a veteran with some playoff experience (even though it was with the Cubs the last two years!) And while it solves our weakness at third base, it may not solve the weakness in the four spot in our lineup.
I was looking at Pujols career stats and saw the usual awesomeness in homers and RBI's. But the stat that has had the biggest dropoff is runs scored. Back in the day s of Pujols/Edmonds/Rolen Albert would score 130+ runs a year. Now he is lucky to get just over the 100 mark. For as often as he gets on base he should be scoring 120 easy. We need an RBI guy in the four slot and I don't think we should rely on Rasmus this year.
Some names have floated around, mainly Matt Holliday. Heck, even Larussa has expressed an interest in Holliday. It's easy to see why. Last year he got hurt, but for the most part in Colorado he was a 30+ homer, 130 RBI and .320 average guy. Awesome. The question mark is how does he hit away from Coors Field? And for me the question is will the Cards pick up his 13 million dollar salary? Oakland is in last place and would probably deal Holliday, although their GM has a history of taking great players from teams in trades (Dan Haren anyone?)
Enter my solution: Adam Dunn of Washington. Dunn plays for a last place team. He is 29, the same age as Holliday. And he makes 8 mil, or 5 million less than Holliday. Adam Dunn is a production machine. He has hit 40 homers FIVE YEARS in a row, and looks to add a sixth this year. He walks a lot, but his RBI totals are down. (probably because he played in Cincinatti) His average this year is in the .260's which would be 6th on the team and a huge upgrade from Ludwick/Ankiel/Duncan. He has strikes out a lot, but only 160 which is down from his 195 SO days.
So Holliday has the average and RBI's but comes at a price both in trade value and salary. Dunn has the homerun factor and is cheaper both in salary and probably in asking price. Oh, and Holliday is right handed which the Cardinals want also. I really like Matt Holliday but he will cost some future prospects. If we could get Dunn for say Ankiel/Duncan and a minor league pitcher I would take it.
That would give us a lineup of say Schumaker-Rasmus-Pujols-Dunn-Derosa-Ludwick-Molina-Pitcher-Ryan. I would take that lineup into the post season. I think with a little more offense our pitching staff will settle down and we could start to put some streaks together. Thoughts? Comments?
UPDATED: I heard a few things on the radio today. First, the Cardinals have expressed interest in Roy Halladay at a price tag of 4 top prospects and like 20 million dollars to sign long term. In a word: NO. Second, one MLB GM told ESPN's Buster Olney that they think the Cardinals spent all their trading money on Mark Derosa. So looks like any further trades would take special owner approval. Third, it sounds like Mark Derosa is out 4-8 weeks and could require surgery. Seriously, we might only have gotten 3 games out of the guy.
My non-trade solution......is Brett Wallace. I know it's not good to rush a guy to the big leagues and if he doesn't get a call up I will trust Tony's and Mo's decisions. But if he can hit like everyone says he can....let him play.