With Matt Adams out of action for at least a good 3 to 4 months with a nasty quad tear, the Cardinals need and should replace him with another left handed bat who can play first base to platoon with Mark Reynolds for the rest of this season. The Cardinals platooned Matt Adams and Mark Reynolds this season. There are 3 options right now that I think the Cardinals can use to replace the injured Matt Adams. The 3 include Ryan Howard (Phillies), Dan Johnson who is currently in Triple-A for the Cardinals, and Justin Morneau (Rockies). I would put Adam Lind on my list, but I doubt the Cards want to deal a prospect or 2 to the Brewers who are in the same division and have a stable rivalry going. Dan Johnson would be the cheapest move they can make. Dan is currently on a minor league deal which isn’t much and all the Cards have to do is add him to the 40 man roster. Dan is currently hitting .256 with 2 home runs and drove in 15 runs.
Justin Morneau is next on the list and he not only provides a spark at the plate, but is a solid defender. He isn’t the same player he used to be, but he can still get the job done. So far this season he has hit 3 homers and drove in 9 men. Not that much production for him near the a quarter done with the season, but it is solid because he is on one of the worst teams in baseball and he has no protection in the lineup. He has a really good batting average though. He is hitting .290 on the year. He is on his last year of his 2 year deal with the Rockies and they will most likely want to dump his money and add a few prospects to their farm system. He is making 7 mil this season and if he does go to the Cardinals and does good maybe they will pick up his mutual option of 9 mil.
The next option is Ryan Howard who is a native of Missouri. Howard is owed a lot of money for a guy who can’t produce at the highest level like he once could. This season he has hit 10 bombs and has 24 RBI’S. Therefore, his production that he has produced at the plate has led himself into a .256 batting average and Howard is a solid defender also. A report by Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com says “The Philadelphia Phillies are willing to pay a “significant” part of first baseman Ryan Howard‘s contract to a team if it is willing to trade for him”. Thats the only way I can see a team go make a move for Howard. The Phillies are willing to pay 50 mil of the 60 mil of Howard’s contract to move him away from Philly. He has a 23 million dollar club option for the 2017 season with a 10 million dollar buyout for the 2017 season. If Option is picked up he will be a unrestricted free agent in 2018 and if the option is not picked up he will test the open market in 2017.
As for all 3 the best move for the Cardinals would be acquiring Justin Morneau because he is a proven player, which Howard is too, but Morneau is cheaper. Howard hits for power and Morneau hits for Average and I think Morneau would be a better fit because of his ability to spread the ball around the field and he plays defense better than Howard. So Cardinal fans If you acquire Morneau you won’t be disappointed.