Although the addition of Marcell Ozuna and the emergence of Jose Martinez has helped spark the Cardinals’ offense thus far, it’s evident that the Cardinals need another elite bat in the lineup in order to make a deep playoff run.
The solution? “Just go get Josh Donaldson,” former MLB Executive Jim Bowden said. “One more big bat in the middle is going to be necessary to get to October baseball.”
Many MLB executives and insiders such as Bowden predict the Toronto Blue Jays to move their MVP third baseman at some point in 2018. This, partially due to a rebuilding mindset for the franchise and the steep price it would take to re-sign Donaldson.
If John Mozeliak decided to rent Donaldson, it would help improve the St. Louis lineup enough to give them a chance in the post season. This move would likely send Matt Carpenter to second base and Kolten Wong to the bench. That potential lineup could look something like this:
Dexter Fowler – RF
Tommy Pham – CF
Marcell Ozuna – LF
Josh Donaldson – 3B
Jose Martinez – 1B
Matt Carpenter – 2B
Yadier Molina – C
Paul DeJong – SS
It’s hard to find a weak spot.
Moving Carpenter from third to second base could be extremely beneficial. Cardinals fans have seen the 32-year-old fall off a bit over the last couple of years and playing at third would only accelerates the process. Adding Donaldson would alleviate some of that pressure.
“All I know is I need another big boy in the middle of that lineup with Ozuna and Martinez that can bang and do some damage and carry this team,” Bowden said.
Bowden believes the Cardinals and Blue Jays would be a perfect match if Toronto decides to make Donaldson available. However, this move more than likely won’t happen until close to or at the trade deadline.
“The reason I keep talking about Donaldson and the Cardinals is there’s nowhere else to send him. No [contending teams] have a need,” Bowden said. “The Cardinals have had a history of, ‘If we get the guy here, they’ll love the city and end up signing here. I definitely think that would be the case, especially with someone like Donaldson.”
Jack Parodi covers the St. Louis Cardinals and you can find him on Twitter @jack_parodi