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Cardinals & Rays

April 15, 2021

Cardinals

Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Meadows 26 Majors OF Low 4.0 28.3 8.9 19.4 15.5 19.4 23.3

Rays

Name Age Level P1 P2 Availablility Years AFV Salary Surplus Low Median High
Knizner 26 Majors C Medium 5.0 6.5 1.9 4.6 3.7 4.6 5.5
Thomas 26 Majors OF Medium 5.0 4.9 0.6 4.3 3.4 4.3 5.2
Walker Minors 3B 10.8 8.6 10.8 13
3 Comments
  1. M P

    I don’t see the logic of trading one of the Rays premium players for 3 bodies. Hard pass for the Rays.

    Let me turn this trade around. How about the Cardinals trade Gorman (35.1) to the Rays for Chirinos (15.3), Ryan (10.3), Padlo (6), and Mead (2.6).

  2. Delivan Cox

    First off, the Cardinals and Rays operate a little different

    They would do this for the same reason they traded Snell and Pham… They trade anyone who is set to become more expensive than what they can afford, and they like to do this with players that have years of control left to maximize their return. The real question is, what are the positions the Rays need filled? They can use a catcher, an outfielder to replace Meadows, and a 1st round pick that has good upside.

    Cardinals on the other hand can pay and need a LH Outfield bat that is cost controlled. And he does come with a history of injuries, and maybe that is why the Rays would prefer to hang on to him knowing that he will be cheap in arbitration, but I think they would rather trade him to get future assets that are further cost controlled.

    You could make the argument, why did they trade Matthew Liberatore for Randy Arozerana? The trade was well regarded as being one-sided in favor of the Cardinals, but when the Rays see something they like they do it.

    Also the trade you proposed would be undervalued towards the Cardinals on a purely numbers side. I provided a net positive back to the Rays, the Cardinals would lose .9 in value.

    • M P

      Ok, I was a bit hasty in my response to this proposal. I still don’t think it works, and we’ll get to the reasons why in a minute, but the return is not just a bunch of guys. First, let me respond to your characterization of the Rays standard operating procedure.

      As someone who follows the Rays very closely, I can tell you that you cannot lump all the Rays trades into one simple explanation of “they trade players after pre-arb” or “once they make over $X.” Pham was on the wrong side of 30, was becoming injury prone, his defense was slipping and he was fairly expensive. Simple explanation there; although there was more nuance to the trade given the entirety of the trade. The Snell trade was for different reasons. First, the Rays almost never trusted Snell to pitch beyond 2X or the 5th inning. This was not a philosophical decision that applied to all pitchers, it was specifically applied to Snell. The Rays didn’t see him as a true Ace and they didn’t trust him, notwithstanding the CYA on his mantle. Second, their relationship was in tatters after the WS bullshit. Snell was pissed, and rightfully so. Third, and perhaps most important, the Rays knew they’d be calling up nearly 10 top prospects in 2021 and there were likely to be growing pains, making a deep playoff run in 2021 unlikely, thereby making a Snell trade more likely (ie: why waste his value in a down year for the team). Lastly, the Padres paid a premium to land Snell. It is for these reasons that Snell was traded when he was, not because the Rays were following some standard playbook to the letter. Snell was affordable, even by the Rays’ standards, and the Rays’ Farm was already the best in baseball. If the Rays thought Snell was a TOR Ace and that the team was likely to make another deep run in 2021, they would have held on to him.

      Getting back to your trade proposal, lets assume the Rays are willing to trade Meadows and will look for the same return parameters that they expect when trading pitchers, which typically require 1-2 young MLBers or prospects who have had their cup of coffee, plus 1-2 younger guys with high upside. Does your trade package cut it?

      Knizner and Thomas fit the mold of being young MLBers, so that’s good. Knizner was someone I wanted to see the Ray trade for a few years back, and he has the pedigree to be a piece of this trade. The problem as I see it is that the Rays acquired a bunch of new catchers in the past year, including former top prospect Francisco Mejia and catcher of the future Blake Hunt. They have others in the que as well, including H.Hernandez and Ford Proctor (transitioning from infielder to catcher and going well). Would the Rays want to trade for another catcher? I think they would, but only for someone head and shoulders better than what they have, which I don’t think Knizner is. Also, the Rays put defense and framing above offense with their catchers, so from the outside looking in, people always think the Rays need catchers, which isn’t always the case.

      Thomas might be fine in the field but he’s just a guy at the plate. He doesn’t appear to have high upside and, as such, he’s not the kind of player the Rays would seek in a trade for Meadows. Walker has the 1st round pedigree, but he’s also 18 and much further from the Majors than the Rays typical trade candidate. I think he checks the box of the far off prospect with upside, but I don’t think the Rays would trade Meadows for Knizner and Thomas because they’re just a couple of guys. Frankly, I don’t think the Rays would trade Meadows at this time period. He’s one of their best bats and the Rays always struggle to field bats. He won’t make real money until 2023 at the earliest and the Rays’ window won’t truly open until next year. Put it all together and I could see an extension before a trade.

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