Most MLB teams would look at a starting pitching rotation of Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Marco Gonzalez and Jaime Garcia as having more than enough arms to enter the upcoming season. Apparently, the St. Louis Cardinals are not one of those teams. Concerned about recent injuries to Wainwright, Wacha and Garcia, the Cardinals are involved in rumors that have them interested in either signing Max Scherzer or trading for David Price or Cole Hamels.
Nothing is imminent, but multiple sources are indicating the St. Louis would like to add another ace to its rotation at some point in 2015, preferably prior to the start of this season. It is now known whether or not the Cardinals are the “mystery” team involved with current free agent James Shields, but they should not be ruled out at this point. Shields is reportedly linked to an offer north of $100 million, yet that would likely pale in comparison to what it would cost to sign Scherzer or trade for Price and sign him to a long-term extension, provided that was their hope.
Hamels would actually be the least expensive option, at least in terms of contract dollars, as he is owed $96 million over the next four seasons. It may, however, cost the Cardinals more than they are willing to part with in terms of dealing prospects to the Phillies.
Scherzer turned down a six year deal worth $144 million from the Tigers last year, setting up the parameters for what it would cost to sign the former Cy Young award winner. Detroit could look to make another run at Scherzer, especially if the team was to trade Price, who has one year remaining on his current contract that could pay him nearly $20 million this season. If the Tigers were to enter 2015 with neither pitcher in their rotation, they would be looking at a sudden drop off after Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez.