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ESPN’s Bowden wants Cards to pay heavy CarGo fee

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.)

Should the Cards consider trading Miller, Rosenthal and Jay for CarGo?

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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20 Responses to “ESPN’s Bowden wants Cards to pay heavy CarGo fee”

  1. mikeD says:

    I listen to Bowden almost everyday and It is clear that he dislikes the Cardinals or is jealous of them, Maybe, it goes back to his days as the Reds GM? Regardless of his motivation, I generally dismiss anything that he says that is Cardinals related. The same is true of this silly proposal. I don’t think Mo would trade one of Rosenthal or Miller right now and it is even further absurd when Bowden’s proposed trade also includes Jay. This is another example of why Bowden is now working as a baseball commentator rather than a baseball GM.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Well said MikeD.

  3. blingboy says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t have us taking on the $20M a year shortstop too.

    • Brian Walton says:

      That leads right into my next comment. I was asked offline about the money aspect.

      Gonzalez is working on a seven-year, $80 million deal signed two years ago. His salary escalates dramatically in the out years. In 2017, the final season of his contract, CarGo will make $20 million, $3 million more than the highest-paid Cardinal, Matt Holliday, will be earning then.

      Ironically, Holliday and Gonzalez (plus others) were traded for each other in 2008.

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        The guy is suggesting ways that Colorado could be healthy. Miller is unproven. Jay is somewhat of an illusion……….. Rosenthal would bring a Texas SS to you all by himself…… That’s because they have 2 and he is what they need to win …….. A Nolan Ryan mini me………….. period……….. ……. St Louis has big plans for Rosenthal ………… just watch ……

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Mo may be done with making moves. We landed Choate to stabilize the lefty situation for the pen. Added a couple of AAAA catchers to supercede Bryan Anderson. Ty Wigginton to ease the burden on the iffy knees of Carlos Beltran. Westbrook re-upped for big bucks early.

    Our young starting pitchers will be needed for years to come. No reason to help out others by surrendering one. Raffy and Pete, Daniel and Matt give us all we need at middle infield. Jackson is depth at AAA. Lets play bell!!

  5. mikeD says:

    Brian is correct; Mo is not done. I think they will eventually move Lynn or Kelly plus Adams for SS. I can’t see them holding on to Adams because he is ready for the ML and the team has no place for him other than as part of the bench. That is not even a given.

    Then you have the issue of finding a place on the pitching staff for Miller and Rosenthal. As it stands right now, that won’t be easy.

    I just get the sense that the Cards will deal for a SS/2B if that opportunity presents itself. If they deal, it will be for a player that can play both SS and 2B and do so well.

    If the Cards don’t deal, look for a Freddy Sanchez signing.

    • blingboy says:

      “If the Cards don’t deal, look for a Freddy Sanchez signing.”

      If one 35 year old shortstop is good, two must be better.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The Cards added 37 year old Choate, to plug a longstanding need for an effective loogy. And we added 35 year old Wigginton, for another niche.
        But its not clear we will add a 30s something SS too. We need roster slots to allow younger players to come up from Memphis.

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