By now everyone has caught the buzz from a website called STLCardinalsBaseball that the Cardinals would like to trade Allen Craig, Shelby Miller, and Lynn/Kelly/Seigrist/Adams for Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. When I read this, I had two reactions.

1) This guy will do whatever it takes, including posting a completely unsubstantiated, reckless, ill-informed rumor that no one else has reported, to drive traffic to his blog.

2) Anyone with half a brain won't feed in to this.

The report started off not with anything having to do with reality, but with the guy who runs the website singing his own praises about how much traffic his website gets and how many "sources" he has in the front office. He then goes on to say that his source is a "C-level" source and thats all he can say. What does C-Level even mean? A groundskeeper? The Hot Dog Guy? To cap it all off, he makes the picture for his story a photoshopped shot of Giancarlo running in the outfield in full Birds attire.

Come on, dude. This is just like the movie "Waterworld." It's got a lot of bells and whistles and a big name to grab your attention, but it all is just to distract you from the fact that theres no real substance to it.

First off, I believe if that were really all it took to get Stanton, he would have been sold a long time ago. The Cardinals can afford to part with all these players. Shelby Miller is probably never going to be the bona fide ace that everyone thought he would be a few years ago. He looks more like a good number three starter, considering he's only really a two-pitch-pitcher at this point. I don't think that Craig's current struggles indicate a future trend, but I do think he is more replaceable than we originally thought he might be. After hitting 22 home runs and driving in 97 while maintaining a .307 batting average in his first quasi-full season, we all looked at Craig and saw a guy who could hit 30 bombs, drive in 100, work a pitcher, hit with two strikes, and bat in the middle of the order for this team. We saw Will Clark in his prime. It now looks like Craig might never be the power guy he looked like then. He is far too focused on putting the ball in play consistently and aiming for the gaps to rack up lofty power numbers, which is fine, it's just not exactly what the Cardinals need as much as the need someone to pace the lineup and instill fear in a pitcher. I love Lynn/Kelly/Siegrist, but this team is flush with pitching and if one of those guys is all it took to close the deal on Stanton, Mozeliak would have no other choice than to pull the trigger.

No, friends, I'm afraid if the Birds were going to land a bat like Stanton, that conversation would begin and end with Oscar Taveras. It probably would involve Trevor Rosenthal, too. Reports say that the Marlins would have to blown away to move Stanton and I believe that's true. They're winning, they have a solid core to build off of, and Stanton says that he enjoys playing for Miami. When you pair him with Jared Fernandez, you've got an arm and a bat that you can market as the faces of the franchise. They're not going to move him for a couple of guys that have been sort of enigmatic during their time in the big leagues.

Long story short, this whole narrative that is sort of taking on a life of it's own and there's no merit to it. It came from a guy that wanted to drive traffic to his website and it worked.

So, if you want some scenarios that are based in reality and logic, here are three moves I could actually see happening

1) Cardinals trade Jon Jay and Lance Lynn to Phillies to 2nd baseman Chase Utley

The birds have a history of acquiring aging superstars from bad teams and breathing new life into them by involving them in a pennant race in St. Louis (Larry Walker, Will Clark, Woody Williams, Tony Womack, act). Utley is having a terrific start, although he hasn't played 150 games since 2009. Jon Jay could get the opportunity to be a 4th outfielder/role player instead of the everyday starter he is here, a role he would be better suited to. Lance Lynn would provide the Phillies with the 5th starting pitcher they desperately need. Philadelphia could get itself out from under Utley's contract as well. Utley could be a good mentor for Kolten Wong, although Daniel Descalso would become expendable in this instance.

2) Cardinals trade Matt Adams, Shelby Miller, and Joe Kelly for Carlos Gonzalez

Gonzalez can play centerfield, even though he is a left fielder by trade. His numbers are down a little this year, but Gonzalez has proven himself to the point where you can expect him to be a 20-20 player with a .300 average. Gonzalez benefits from Coors field and is a career .330 hitter there compared to just .264 on the road, so he might be a little over-valued but he's still a commodity. The Cardinals could move Carlos Martinez and either Seigrist, Lyons, Tim Cooney, Trevor Rosenthal, or maybe even Jaime Garcia in to the rotation in place of Kelly and Miller and the pitching staff probably wouldn't skip a beat. Gonzalez could bat in the 2 hole and be a catalyst for the rest of the lineup.

3) Cardinals trade Oscar Taveras, Matt Adams, Shelby Miller, Jon Jay, and Lance Lynn for Giancarlo Stanton and Carter Capps

This is more like it. Honestly, at this point, the cards can afford to move Taveras, considering the maturation of Stephen Piscotty and Randall Grichuk. Capps was a polished college pitcher, has a good repertoire, and can bring it at 99 out of the back of the bullpen. He could provide the Cardinals with the right handed reliever they need to solidify the bullpen. Stanton would inevitably blast home runs onto the 360 rooftop bar with regularity.

Thanks for reading, and remember, theres no place like home.

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# Scott
Thursday, May 15, 2014 9:54 AM

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