Cardinals eyeing Rockies’ outfielders

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Cardinals are in search of outfield help as Matt Holliday is entering the last year of his contract and Jason Heyward signed with the division rival Cubs recently. There are only four big-name free agents remaining: Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, and Dexter Fowler. As Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests, the Rockies’ trio of outfielders intrigue the Cardinals.

Carlos Gonzalez would be the most expensive as he has the most to offer, as he hit 40 home runs in 603 plate appearances this past season. He has $37 million remaining on the final two years of his contract, so he wouldn’t be an exorbitant strain on the payroll. However, Gonzalez has frequently been injured and his numbers away from the hitter-friendly Coors Field aren’t impressive. He’s also easily neutralized by left-handed pitchers. So there’s certainly some concern about how much the 30-year-old could offer.

Corey Dickerson, 26, posted an .869 OPS in 234 plate appearances in 2015, but he was hampered by plantar fasciitis. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season and he’ll be under team control through 2019, so that’s certainly appealing to the Cardinals, who will lose Holliday soon.

Charlie Blackmon, 29, offers power and speed as he’s hit 36 home runs and stolen 71 bases over the last two seasons. But his home/road splits are also rather disparate: he has a career .887 at Coors Field and a meager .653 away from it. Blackmon is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility and can become a free agent after the 2018 season. Given his age, he’s less of a long-term solution.

Hochman notes that the Rockies would likely ask for first baseman Matt Adams and a pitching prospect in a potential trade.