Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is not being shy about his primary offseason strategy:
Mozeliak made it clear to us this morning that he’d like to trade a young “starting pitcher”: for a “young controllable shortstop” XM 89
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) November 10, 2013
There are a couple of shortstop options on the free agent market in Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew, but the Cardinals would rather use their surplus of starting pitching to get a longer-term, more-reliable upgrade.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested earlier this month that Lance Lynn or Shelby Miller, both in the pre-arbitration stage, could be dangled in the search for Pete Kozma’s replacement. Kozma is a 25-year-old former first-round pick who fits part of Mo’s desired shortstop profile — young and controllable — but he had a brutal .652 OPS in the minors and owns a .608 OPS in 185 big league games.
The Cards have a ton of money coming off the books this winter between Carlos Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Jake Westbrook and Rafael Furcal, so a big contract won’t necessarily be a roadblock. That’s why we’ve seen St. Louis involved in speculation for the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki and the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus.
The 2013 National League champs currently carry eight legitimate MLB starters in Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly, Jaime Garcia, Trevor Rosenthal, Miller and Lynn.