Frankie Montas has been the identify most connected to the Cardinals of their pitching search, but St. Louis has additionally been exploring different rotation choices. The Playing cards and Astros have mentioned the potential for a commerce involving veteran righty Jake Odorizzi, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch studies. As well as, such names as Noah Syndergaard and Nathan Eovaldi have been “at the very least mentioned internally” by the Cardinals’ entrance workplace as doable targets.
Odorizzi has been on the Playing cards’ radar for a while, because the membership thought of signing the right-hander as a free agent through the 2020-21 offseason. As an alternative, Odorizzi signed a two-year take care of Houston value $23.25MM in assured cash, with the 2023 season additionally coated through a $6.25MM participant possibility with a $3.25MM buyout. Quite a lot of accidents have restricted Odorizzi to 157 2/3 innings over his two years with the Astros, however he has posted a 4.22 ERA regardless of solely a 19.5% strikeout fee. The righty has relied on above-average stroll charges and (in 2022) an excellent hard-contact fee to retire batters.
Buying Odorizzi would have some echoes of the Playing cards’ deadline strikes final 12 months, once they landed veterans Jon Lester, J.A. Happ, and Wade LeBlanc within the wake of a number of rotation accidents. Odorizzi at the very least has significantly better bottom-line outcomes than that trio did when St. Louis swung these trades, and but the Cardinals’ hope in a turn-around was rewarded, as all three pitched properly and helped the Playing cards attain the wild card sport.
St. Louis followers weren’t overly impressed with the membership’s technique finally 12 months’s deadline, and given all the opposite massive names linked to the Playing cards in commerce rumors this summer time, touchdown “solely” Odorizzi to deal with the rotation might be once more seen as underwhelming. Nonetheless, for the reason that A’s are recognized to be asking for a ton for Montas and absolutely the Angels and Purple Sox would need a good return even for leases like Syndergaard or Eovaldi, Odorizzi might be an honest Plan C-type of possibility if the Playing cards really feel the opposite asking costs are too excessive…..or, if the Cardinals direct their prospect capital in the direction of buying somebody like Juan Soto.
Additionally it is doable that the Cardinals may land a couple of of those pitchers, because the membership has an more and more acute want for rotation depth. Past Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas, Andre Pallante, Dakota Hudson (activated off the 15-day injured checklist immediately) and Matthew Liberatore comprise the present beginning 5, as Jack Flaherty remains to be weeks away from coming back from shoulder issues.
Steven Matz was supposed to supply some assist when he returned from his personal IL stint final week, besides the left-hander tore his MCL in his return begin. It isn’t recognized but if Matz will want surgical procedure, but President of baseball operations John Mozeliak instructed Goold and different reporters immediately that there’s solely a “sliver” of an opportunity Matz pitches once more in 2022, and it is going to be “very, very tough to get him again this 12 months.”
Turning to the Astros’ state of affairs, buying and selling Odorizzi would appear like an uncommon transfer for a World Sequence contender that theoretically would need as a lot pitching depth as doable for a deep run by October. Nonetheless, the Astros may really feel they’ve such depth already, with a six-man rotation on the lively roster, Lance McCullers Jr. on his method again from the 60-day IL, and another younger arms in reserve within the minors.
To that finish, Houston has reportedly been keen to debate trades of controllable pitchers with different groups. Odorizzi doesn’t precisely match that description, after all, however it could appear to be the Astros could be much more open to transferring a veteran fairly than a longer-term rotation piece like Cristian Javier or Jose Urquidy.