The Cubs’ two top competitors in the NL Central are already looking to make upgrades on the trade market, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Latest notes: #STLCards/Moustakas?; #Athletics forcing issue; #RedSox/#Yankees building up for weekend; the one that got away from Dombrowski; market for #Tigers’ Fulmer; more. https://t.co/TNGp0EPekF
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 29, 2018
Among many other notes there that you’ll have to head over to check out for yourself, Rosenthal mentions that the Cardinals are interested in Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, a guy they considered over the offseason. Moustakas, 29, is hitting reasonably well again this year after being snubbed by the free agent market (.258/.313/.467, 108 wRC+), so him being a trade target for an offense-needy team certainly makes sense.
But then, it’s not entirely clear how the Cardinals would coordinate the addition of Moustakas with an infield group that already includes two very limited defensive corner infielders in Matt Carpenter and Jose Martinez, whose bats I’m sure they want to keep in the lineup. Maybe it’s just about adding talent to the overall pool, but I’m betting it’s the kind of situation that doesn’t play out rapidly in July. Then again, much of the trade market seeming to move very quickly already, and that includes the Royals already selling off their closer.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are also looking to the Royals for an upgrade in the infield, according to Rosenthal. The club looked at second baseman Whit Merrifield in the offseason, and is doing so again. It makes sense, given that the Brewers seems to be perpetually trying to upgrade in the middle infield, and Merrifield, 29, is hitting .284/.358/.401 (110 wRC+). Moreover, the guy isn’t even arbitration-eligible until 2020, despite his age, so he’d be an extremely affordable piece for the Brewers’ payroll.
Of course, that also means he’d be an extremely expensive trade acquisition. We’ll see how aggressive the Brewers get at the Trade Deadline, but as they continue to lead the National League, it sure seems like if there was ever a time to really step on the gas, it’s now.