The St. Louis Cardinals have a nice luxury in their current third baseman Matt Carpenter. Coming off a season in which he played second base full time, Carpenter could theoretically move back to second if it gave his team the opportunity to upgrade at the hot corner.
That fact gives the Cardinals slightly more wiggle room when it comes to their situation at the trade deadline. While the team has kept an eye on possible mega-deals for guys like David Price and even Giancarlo Stanton, they ultimately will probably stick to more understated deals. That is the situation presented by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Could one such deal come for a second or third baseman? Strauss offers the following possibilities?
The Cardinals could create a short-term vacancy at third base by returning Carpenter to second base. Center field is acknowledged to be in flux. The club could also search for offensive assistance at second base while further delaying its commitment to Wong.
The trade possibilities at either spot are tough to figure, however, which might explain the team’s reluctance to take on rentals. Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres, who has been a disaster thus far in 2014, could be available if he shows any signs of life. Chase Utley would be the big fish at second base if he waved his no-trade clause.
The deal that continues to make the most sense, at least in the abstract, is a trade for Tampa Bay Rays’ second baseman Ben Zobrist. A free agent at season’s end, Zobrist would bring punch to second base while leaving Carpenter at third.
The Cardinals rarely misstep in these situations, so there is no reason to believe things will be any different in 2014.