Posted on April 29, 2009 at 11:33 PMI know I've been away from the blog the last few days. Work and other things have conspired against me, and it may be this weekend before I get a chance to catch up. Rest assured that Heroes and Goats will return soon. Until then, I hope this will help tide you over!
Filed Under: St. Louis Cardinals
| United Cardinal Bloggers
Today is another United Cardinal
Bloggers project day. This time, the UCB takes up different issues
in Cardinal Nation and debates them across blogs. You can find the
list of all the questions and debate matchups here
The statement up for debate between me
and Kathy of Redbird Chatter
is that the Cardinals should try to
trade Chris Duncan instead of Rick Ankiel. I will be taking the con
side of this, stating that Ankiel should be the one traded.
This is a hard one for me. I've
never been a huge Duncan supporter and I've been an Ankiel fan
since before he came up in '99. If given a choice, I'd love to
see Rick stay in Cardinal red for a long time to come. However, the
four-outfielders-for-three-slots merry-go-round is starting to get
old and the best way to relieve that situation is a trade.
There are two reasons why Ankiel is the
better player to trade. One, he should bring back a higher return
and two, he's a free agent at the end of the year.
While Ankiel has not had as strong of a
2009 as Duncan, he still would be an attractive target for a team,
especially one with deep enough pockets to tempt Scott Boras out of
his "must hit free agency" mindset. Ankiel is a center fielder
with much more range and fielding ability than Duncan, he has a
stronger offensive pedigree, and arguably has more upside than
Teams get excited about athletic center
fielders. Teams have limited first base/DH types somewhere in their
system, though perhaps not to the level that Duncan is. Still, you
have to think that, even with his impending free agency, Ankiel would
bring more in return, especially if he is moved well before the
Wouldn't you rather have Duncan plus,
say, Philip Hughes* versus Ankiel and a Double-A prospect? Which
helps the team more this year?
*Note, all trade possibilities are
constructs of my imagination and therefore are not necessarily
realistic. Still, the principle holds.
Of course, while his pending free
agency is a detriment to what the Cardinals might receive back in a
trade, the fact that in a few months, he could walk away from the
team with nothing to show for it is probably the biggest reason you
move him now.
While it's possible that Ankiel might
wind up as a Type A or B free agent, there are no guarantees of that.
The extra draft picks would be nice, but getting tangible returns,
something that could help you this year, would be nicer. To
eliminate the risk and to maximize their asset, the team should trade
Ankiel sooner rather than later.
All of this assumes that Ankiel will
not sign an extension in the middle of the season, something Boras
has said won't happen. If that fact changes, of course, then many
of the calculations above would change as well. As it stands right
now, though, Rick Ankiel is the most attractive trade bait John
Mozeliak could dangle.
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