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Shortcomings at Shortstop

Paul DeJong walks back to the dugout in displeasure of an at bat. Photo Cred Unknown

Many fans are ready to move on from Paul DeJong. DeJong was demoted to Triple-A Memphis earlier this week. He very well could return to the club and improve on what has been a horrendous past couple seasons. Who do we replace him with in the meantime? Many want current second baseman, and reigning Gold Glove winner, Tommy Edman there while calling up #2 prospect Nolan Gorman to pla 2B. While Gorman wasn't called up, Edman has been taking grounders at short. Brendan Donovan has seen the early time at short. Kramer Robertson, a former top 30 prospect, was called up to take DeJong's spot on the active roster, but I don't expect him to do much. What about Edmundo Sosa? I truly don’t see it. I think his errors in the Wild Card game in Los Angeles last year, gave him the short end of the stick. He's currently on a rehab assignment after landing on the Covid-IL last week. Let’s look outside the organization.

This offseason, the highlight of the free agent class was certainly the shortstop position. Players like Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, Javy Baez, Corey Seager, & even Marcus Semien were all avaiable as free agents. Obviously it takes two to tango, but many believe signing one of these players would have solved our issue at shortstop. It's early, but they are all struggling too, so complaining likely would be done still. If we look for a trade partner, there wasn't a whole lot to like, until a report came out just a few days ago. More on this mystery player later. Who should we even target?

Yankees Gleyber Torres makes contact with the ball. Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Yankees might part with Gleyber Torres but he would still cost a pretty penny. Torres could use a change of scenery. Torres was the highlight of the trade when the Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs back in 2016, but Torres hasn't quite lived up to the lofty expectations. Many Yankees fans expected him to be the SS of the future. Sure that fine, but many also want him to be the second coming of Derek Jeter. Torres is only 25, has been an All Star in his first 2 seasons in 2018 and 2019, but he has taken some major steps back offensively. In 2019, in 144 games, he hit 38 home runs and 90 RBI. Since then? He has combined to hit 16 home runs and 80 RBI in 196 games. Going from living up to expectations to many fans wanting to get rid of him, a change of scenery could be good. The down side is that he is currently slashing .209/.247/.407. So would he be worth the shot? DeJong put up solid numbers and regressed so would Torres really be considered an upgrade? I would say yes. Being that Torres is only 25, he still has room to improve and certainly has a higher ceiling than DeJong.

Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura celebrate a Phillies win. Photo found via NBC Sports. Original source unknown.

The Phillies have two guys that could play shortstop but would they part with Didi Gregorius or Jean Segura? Doubtful. Phillies are looking to win a championship, like us, and both Gregorius and Segura are key parts to their lineup. Gregorius just went on the IL with a knee sprain so before we would attempt to trade for him, I would certainly want to see how he comes back from that.

Nick Ahmed of the Diamondbacks makes a diving snag. AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Could we get Nick Ahmed from the DBacks? Maybe but he doesn’t wow anyone. Defensively yes but not offensively. Of the players mentioned in this post, Ahmed is probably the one most likely to be traded. As I said, Ahmed doesn't wow anyone with his bat, which is what the Cardinals really need at this time. He would certainly be a nice addition defensively, as he is a 2 time Gold Glove winner at short but the Cardinals need to focus on acquiring an offensive minded shortstop.

Atlanta's Dansby Swanson celebrates during the World Series. Jaime Squire/Getty Images

If the Braves fall out of contention, would they trade away Dansby Swanson? It's possible. He is a free agent at the end of the season, so maybe the Braves would want to get some key pieces for the future. Swanson has been more than serviceable the past few seasons, even earning some MVP votes in 2020. He was a key leader in the Braves drive towards a World Series title last season hitting 27 home runs and 88 RBI, but also only hitting .248. That was a career year for him offensively so I don't expect him to repeat it.

Are there 2B that could shift to SS like we are wanting Edman to do? The two players I'm about to mention would certainly cost a lot in terms of prospects.

Ketel Marte of the DBacks flexes after hitting a home run. Photo found from SI, cred unknown.

Heading back to the desert, the DBacks just extended Ketel Marte and they don't seem like they are wanting to trade Marte. Marte has seen time all over the field. When he came up with Seattle, he was primarily a shortstop. However, once he was traded to Arizona, they split his time between centerfield and second base, with a little time at short still sprinkled in. Having both Edman (assuming he wouldn't be part of the trade), and Marte would be nice. Marte and Edman could split time at both short and second. Either one could leadoff. If Marmol wanted to shift the lineup a bit, you could hit Edman leadoff, Marte 2nd, Goldy 3rd, and Arenado 4th. You would think one of Gorman, Jordan Walker, Matthew Liberatore, Zach Thompson, & Masyn Winn would be involved in a trade for Marte.

Jazz Chisholm of the Marlins shows his emotion after sliding home safe. Sam Navarro/US Today Sports

An exciting young player in Miami is Jazz Chisholm. Chisholm has Cardinal connections in a way. When the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna, one of the players they sent to Miami was Zac Gallen. Shortly after Gallen debuted with the Marlins, they traded him to the DBacks for Chisholm. Chisholm is a big up and coming player with a very bright future. He had a nice season in 2021, but he's really starting to have a breakout season in 2022 so far. Slashing .300/.343/.600, he already leads the league in triples with 3, and has some good pop too, hitting 5 home runs already. His primary position is 2B but he has seen some time at short last year. I don't see Miami even listening to offers for Jazz.

Red Sox Xander Bogaerts reportedly is looking to get out of Boston. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

If I had my choice, I would trade for one of the second basemen, with the focus on Chisholm. But what about that mystery player I mentioned at the beginning? Rumors started swirling earlier this week that Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts wants out of Boston. This was actually starting once they signed Trevor Story to play 2B, as many believed Bogaerts would opt out and the Red Sox could slide Story over to SS. The Red Sox are trying to cover themselves in case Bogaerts does opt out. Not only did they sign Story, they also drafted a shortstop 4th overall in last summer's draft, Marcello Mayer. Well those rumors about Bogaerts opting out are escalating now. A close friend of Bogaerts told MLB insider Jon Heyman that Bogaerts is definitely leaving Boston.

Bogaerts quickly becomes one of the hottest trade chips. With the demotion of DeJong, Bogaerts would make a whole lot of sense. MLB's Jon Morosi seems to agree.

Bogaerts would certainly be my pick of the litter. For those not familiar with him, he is a 29 year old from Aruba who has spent his entire 10 year career in Boston. He is a 3 time all star and as been in consideration as one of the best shortstops in the game. This is the type of player we are all hoping the Cardinals acquire. He is currently hitting a blistering .354. The biggest concern is would he opt out at the end of the season? I think if he is able to get out of Boston, he would be less likely to opt out. What if he opts in and stays, what does the rest of his contract look like? 3 years would be guaranteed at $20M each season. He has a vesting option for a 4th year for another $20M if he has at least 535 plate appearances in 2025 and is healthy.

With all this said though, he isn't going to come cheap. Boston likely asks for either Gorman or Walker. Sure they have Rafael Devers at 3B, but they have talked about moving him across the diamond to 1B. I think Mozeliak and company need to do whatever it takes to get him. If that means trading Gorman, so be it. I'm more bullish on Gorman than most. I feel Gorman might be the next Joey Gallo, tons of power and Ks, not a lot of hits.

Imagine our lineup including Bogaerts though.

Tommy Edman 4

Paul Goldschmidt 3

Xander Bogaerts 6

Nolan Arenado 5

Tyler O'Neill 7

Juan Yepez DH

Yadier Molina 2

Dylan Carlson 9

Harrison Bader 8

Adding Bogaerts instantly solidifies our lineup that we are desperately looking for. So who would you like the Cardinals to go out and get? Is there anyone I left out? Should the Cardinals do what it takes to get Bogaerts? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Go Cards!

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