Matt Adams has lost his place within the St. Louis Cardinals starting lineup. The Red Birds are shopping him this winter, but does anyone want him?
The St. Louis Cardinals intentions to move Matt Carpenter to first base eliminate any certain playing time for first baseman Matt Adams. St. Louis has a surplus of capable, well-rounded infielders, it appears Adams is the odd man out. The big lefty may have exhausted his time in St. Louis. Adams played part in trade rumors last season and has continued to be rumored this offseason. The Cardinals are opened to moving him; it’s simply a matter of who wants him.
Adams is known for his bat; however, he is also known for his poor glove and health issues. Unfortunately, his negative qualities appear more glaring to potential suitors than his positive quality.
Adams’ lack of defensive ability implies he would be much more useful as a DH in the American League. He has the makeup of a traditional DH– big, powerful, and immobile. If a team is searching for some complimentary pop in the middle of their lineup, Matt Adams would be a good pickup.
He has been tough to figure throughout his short career. He’s seen seasons with a .280+ batting average and .320+ OBP. Contrarily, his past two seasons have displayed a sub-.250 batting average and OBPs of .290 and .309. Matt Adams has yet to hit over 20 home runs in a season and has exceeded a .500 slugging percentage only once in five seasons.
The main deterrent preventing a trade for Matt Adams may be the confusion of what kind of player he actually is. If a team is going to sell for his hitting ability, they’ll want to be assured he can carry his weight at the plate. Would Adams be a legitimate power threat? Could he provide legitimate protection to a lineup? Could he drive base runners in at a clip expected from a “power” hitter? Each of those questions are causing potential suitors to step on the brakes.
Depending on the Cardinal’s asking price, it would be surprising if Adams isn’t moved by the start of the season. St. Louis could keep him around as a reserve in case of injury. Although, the more time he spends on the bench or in the minor leagues, the more his value diminishes. Adams is under team control until 2019, that leaves two years of team control for any team who trades for him. There is much more excitement over a player coming off a season with 297 at-bats and two years of team control, rather than a minor leaguer/major leaguer with one season of control.
Plenty of teams could make use of Adams. He may be a borderline addition, however, he’s certainly an improvement over some of the possible designated hitters around the American League. Teams that need help at DH/first base: Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, and Texas Rangers.
Kansas City, Oakland, and Tampa Bay are the more probable landing spots for Adams. All three teams should be willing to forfeit a mid-level prospect for a controlled, high-potential player like Matt Adams.
Above all, it’s really a matter of how stubborn the St. Louis Cardinals care to be. Adams’ fate is far from St. Louis’ top priority this offseason. But, with Dexter Fowler signed, the Cardinals’ roster appears to be set for April. Plus, with Edwin Encarnacion off the board, teams will be even more desperate to find a relevant DH/first baseman. Now is as good a time as any for the St. Louis Cardinals to move Matt Adams.