The St. Louis Cardinals have already suffered two major injuries during the first two months of the 2015 MLB season. Already without Adam Wainwright, who will hopefully be ready for the start of next season, the Red Birds will also be without Matt Adams at first base for the foreseeable future. For the time being, Mark Reynolds will take over as the regular first baseman. The team has gone with Jaime Garcia to fill Wainwright’s spot in the rotation but, many expect the Cardinals to buyers at the MLB Trade Deadline. Of course, that is still two months away. Why not place a well-timed phone call to a fellow senior circuit team and ask if there is any possibility that the Philadelphia Phillies would trade Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard to the Cardinals for some top prospects and cash considerations?
Right now, St. Louis can afford to be patient, as the team holds a six game lead over the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Central. What if that starts to change? What if that lead shrinks? What if the Cardinals are looking at a one game lead toward the end of June? What if they fall out of first place at some point in July? What if another starting pitcher suffers an injury, or the team gets tired of seeing Reynolds strike out in key situations? The point is, anything can happen from now until the time of the MLB Trade Deadline.
The Phillies would likely have to pay a little bit or Howard’s remaining salary, but he has proven to still be a fairly productive batter. Hamels is still one of the better pitchers in the league, and would add an instant boost to the team’s rotation. Since it is never too early to look ahead to the postseason, just think what a four-man rotation consisting of Hamels, Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez could look like? Throw in John Lackey, and the Birds would be looking like a very good bet to take the pennant.
As of now, this is purely speculation on my part, at least as far as I know. Maybe the Cardinals and Phillies have discussed a potential blockbuster. We certainly know the St. Louis is never afraid to make a big trade. Unfortunately for them, they may have blown their last huge deal when they shipped Shelby Miller to the Atlanta Braves for Jayson Heyward. They could make that right by acquiring a pitcher of Hamels’ caliber.