It is the time of year when real trade and free agent signing news can be scarce. Perhaps as a result of having nothing of substance to report, people come up with dream ideas of their own to tout.
Former Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden, blogging for ESPN, has gotten into the spirit of giving by coming up with a whopper of his own invention.
Last week, Bowden wrote a piece called “Getting great players out of bad spots.” Number four on the list of good players who could benefit from a change in scenery was outfielder Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies.
Bowden acknowledges that the Rockies have repeatedly insisted they have no plans to trade CarGo, yet he believes a deal will eventually happen. He mentions the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers as the kind of clubs that could make an offer overwhelming enough to change the Rockies’ mind.
In the footnotes, Bowden also suggests the St. Louis Cardinals match up well since they have the young pitching the Rockies need.
OK, I can see the potential alignment, though the Cardinals are hardly known for making overwhelming offers to anyone.
However, on Thursday, Bowden went too far. Coming back to the same material, he proposed a specific trade idea that is completely ridiculous.
His blog entry, entitled “5 moves yet to be made,” apparently represents Bowden’s thought processes as a GM. Proposal number two is the trade of CarGo to St. Louis for the threesome of Trevor Rosenthal, Shelby Miller and Jon Jay.
Forget the huge inequity in salaries. Forget that the Cardinals already have Oscar Taveras coming up and have greater needs than the outfield. Forget that CarGo is a superstar when playing in Denver (career OPS 1.003) and ordinary everywhere else (OPS .735).
Just consider the comparison between the two outfielders – Jay (career OPS .773) and Gonzalez. While there is a difference, is there any way on earth the incremental benefit would be worth six cost-controlled seasons each of the Cards’ top two pitching prospects in Miller and Rosenthal – both of whom are now major league-ready? Twelve player-years in total!
I can only guess that Bowden made his proposal to be controversial, because in the real world, this would be one of the most one-sided trades imaginable.
For that reason, if Cardinals GM John Mozeliak would even consider such a deal – which I can’t believe he would – Mo could soon find himself joining Bowden among the ranks of ex-GMs.
(P.S. If you like this deal from the Cardinals’ perspective, please outline your thinking in the comment section below.)