In his weekly chat with readers this week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold mentioned that the St. Louis Cardinals could have interest in free-agent first baseman Colin Moran, but that their interest would depend on him taking a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.
With the designated hitter likely coming to the National League in 2022, one would assume that the Cardinals adding a left-handed hitter to the roster would be a welcomed fit.
St. Louis has Paul Goldschmidt at first base (Moran’s position), and Nolan Arenado at third base (Moran’s other position) with neither player expected to take many days off. If the Cardinals acquired Colin Moran, it would mean he would either be used as a lefty bench bat option or could see some ABs as the team’s DH.
Myself and fellow Cardinals Nation 24/7 writer Brad Kehl, had recently discussed potential DH options for the Cardinals both internally & externally. Suggesting names like Juan Yepez, Lars Nootbar or Nolan Gorman as in-house options, and available free agents such as Albert Pujols, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Schwarber & Kris Bryant with the possibility of acquiring one through trade in Matt Olson.
I don’t personally see the Cardinals blocking the path of Juan Yepez making the big league club, as they did add him to the playoff roster last postseason. I think Nootbar stays up but serves only as the team’s fourth outfielder. As for Gorman, in my opinion the front office is going to want him staying in Memphis working on becoming a better second baseman.
Could the Cardinals have Yepez as the DH, but still have Moran as a backup corner infielder and serve as a lefty bench bat? Sure. It’s possible. Although, Nootbar bats from the left side too, so where’s the fit?
Moran has played parts of six seasons in the majors. For the Astros he only appeared in 16 games over 2 seasons and finally found some footing when he was traded over to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz & Jason Martin for Gerrit Cole.
In his 4 seasons for the Pirates, Moran has slashed .269/.331/.419 with 45 HR and 216 RBI. He played third base in his first couple of seasons before transitioning to becoming Pittsburgh’s first baseman. Last season Colin slashed .258/.334/.390 with 10 HR & 50 RBI over the course of 318 at-bats in just 99 games before being designated for assignment by the club at season’s end.
Those numbers don’t exactly jump off the page at anyone, and I think any intrigue that Cardinals fans would have in Moran, is that he has slashed .323/.368/.469 in over 106 plate appearances at Busch Stadium, making him feel like a Cardinal killer.
When the lockout ends there is going to be a ton of free agents looking for landing spots, and it’s unclear what that market will end up looking like. Moran could likely get a better offer than what the Cardinals feel comfortable with, and on the other hand I think if St. Louis truly wants to add another bat to this team, they should shoot for someone with much more production than what Colin Moran would bring. Even if that means spending more money to do so.