The St. Louis Cardinals received some awful news on their top prospect 22-year-old RHP Alex Reyes, who is undergoing an MRI on his sore elbow and could miss the entire 2017 season.
I am told : Potentially season ending injury for Alex Reyes. Tough tough blown for Cardinals.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 14, 2017
Now, the Cardinals are no strangers to injuries in their starting rotation as it seems like the club has been perpetually dealing with one of their aces sustaining a major injury for the last decade. Guys like now retired Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and even Carlos Martinez have all spent time nursing injuries. In 2016 alone, the St. Louis players spent a collective 1228 days on the disabled list, ranking 24th in the baseball according to Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA.
With Reyes’ entire season in jeopardy, the Cardinals are losing a possible ace and need some starting pitching depth with Lance Lynn being the only pitcher on the roster with real starting experience. And while Lynn adds a level of insurance for the rotation, he’s coming off Tommy John surgery that shut him down for all of 2016 and was not expected to have to contribute right away this season.
The Cardinals No. 2 overall prospect, and No. 81 in top 100, RHP Luke Weaver is close to being MLB-ready as well but he has been slowed down some after sustaining a left wrist fracture at the start of 2016. Most scouts believe Weaver is ready to be a major league pitcher, but if he has a rough spring and needs more time in the minors, the Cardinals have no proven options to turn to.
With all the tremulous injury history St. Louis has dealt with over the last decade, it might make sense for the club to pursue a more reliable option to add to their rotation.
Enter Jose Quintana.
The White Sox have been trying to move the 26-year-old lefty all offseason, and reportedly have come close a few times, but each deal has had GM Rick Hahn fixated on acquiring more elite hitting prospects after stockpiling an incredible amount of talented, young pitching from the Red Sox and Nationals this offseason.
Luck for both clubs, the Cardinals have a few intriguing bats they could dangle in front of Hahn in exchange for Quintana and his incredibly team-friendly contract that has four more years of team control. Now, it would take St. Louis parting with a player like Harrison Bader, Delvin Perez, or possibly breakout catching prospect Carson Kelly to make this deal to come life, but I would find it hard to believe Hahn would turn down a deal centering around any of those three players.
The Cardinals did have a serious log-jam at the starting spot with really seven semi-decent options for their rotation, but losing Reyes is a major blow to St. Louis and to baseball. Regardless, St. Louis needs more stability in their rotation and while they may have a few options to choose from in-house, adding a reliable and cost efficient arm like Jose Quintana to their roster could help soften the blow of losing Reyes. Plus, it would allow the Cardinals to take their time grooming Luke Weaver,
and the White Sox add another promising bat to their offensively starved farm system making this deal on paper a win-win.
But, for now, everything will be put on hold until Reyes is officially done for the season. If the young ace is lost for the entire season, expect the Cardinals to be major players for Jose Quintana as the 2017 season starts to take shape.