May 29, 2024

St. Louis Cardinals Ace Should Be Trade Candidate: Writer

With the St. Louis Cardinals tied for last place in the National League Central, the team could be in a position to be sellers at the trade deadline.

Cardinals ace Sonny Gray should be “in the conversation” as a trade candidate, according to Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer.

“This is no time to be holding on to Cardinals stock in hopes that it will pay off,” Rymer wrote in a May 13 column on “panic moves MLB teams must avoid after slow starts.

Gray, 34, signed a three-year, $75 million contract with the Cardinals during the offseason and has been a bright spot in a 17-24 season through May 13. Gray, a three-time All-Star and Cy Young runner-up in 2023, has posted a 4-2 record with a 2.29 ERA.

Rymer also listed veteran pitchers and Kyle Gibson, high-priced infielders Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado and closer Ryan Helsey as players whom St. Louis should consider offloading this season.

“Yet, St. Louis should stop short of completely blowing up its roster, which is basically to say that the young, controllable guys should stick around,” he wrote.

Will Sonny Gray Be Gone Within a Year?

Gray was added during the free agency period alongside fellow veteran right-handers Lynn and Gibson to fortify a Cardinals staff that posted a 4.79 ERA in 2023. They were added to a rotation that included holdovers Miles Mikolas and lefty Steven Matz.

Gibson and Lynn have put up respectable numbers, pitching to 3.67 and 3.79 ERAs, respectively. Each is signed to one-year deal, making them likely trade candidates if the Cardinals don’t turn around their season.

Gray, a former Minnesota Twin, New York Yankee and Oakland Athletic, was immediately tabbed as the team’s ace and their Opening Day starter. Unfortunately the Cards, he suffered a strained hamstring strain in the second inning of his second exhibition start on March 4.

He missed Opening Day but rebounded quickly, making his first start on April 9. He struck out five batters in five shutout innings and gained a victory in the Redbirds’ 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Cardinals Looking to Move Forward

2024 has been a season filled with injuries and intrigue for the Cardinals. They lost key position players like utilityman Tommy Edman (the team’s projected starting centerfielder), and outfielders Lars Nootbaar and Dylan Carlson before the season even started. They dealt with Gray’s hamstring issues, and when he returned, they lost Matz to the injured list due to a back injury.

There’s also been speculation that manager Oliver Marmol could be fired before the end of the season. Mozeliak recently addressed the subject in a recent radio interview.

“Well, I think these are times that are difficult,” Mozeliak told Tom Ackerman of the team’s flagship radio station, 1120 AM KMOX on May 12. “I still think he (Marmol) understands the job; I think he knows how to manage. I think he’s trying to, you know, put the right combination of players in, but you know, at some level, you have to have some performance.

“Yeah, I understand fans are not happy with myself,” he said. “They’re not happy with Oli. I don’t think anything I say here today is going to change that.

“So I think we have to just keep trying to go back, trying to get this to work,” he said. “And look, we understand that if it doesn’t, people are going to be held accountable. And ultimately, that starts with me.”

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