What is making trades so hard right now?

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak jpeg

The Cardinals are mired in a horrendous stretch. Since June 1st, they have lost 9 out of the last 12. This is after going 16-12 in May. The Redbirds have been missing top starter Jack Flaherty since May 25th, Martinez is wildly inconsistent, John Gant and his Houdini act seem to be getting stale, Kwang Hyun Kim is coming off his second stint on the IL this season, the bullpen is in Jekyll and Hyde mode, the offense shows signs of life. Still, it then goes into a coma for 4 or 5 innings (particularly with runners in scoring position). Bats coming off the bench seem to have a little spark. All of this leaves fans clamoring for some action by the front office.


Many fans Say get Max Sherzer, get Joey Gallo, find a bench bat. Oh, if only it were that easy, but it is not. It is not as easy as the movie Moneyball would suggest; make a phone call, and boom, the deal is done.

In today's market, many variables go into the trade process.

*Are you trading out of need, adding depth, or for the future

* Long-term contracts with guaranteed money, player opt-outs, options, No Trade Clauses, and the like.

*Trades that involve cash or international bonus money

* Who is willing to trade with you.

*Dealing with the Players Union


Right now, there is no doubt That St Louis needs help from the outside. Not just immediate assistance either. We need depth as well. With the injuries to not only the Major League club; but all across the farm system as well, we need help! So far, the Front Office has signed some minor league players to give some depth. (LHP Brandon Waddell, LHP Kevin McGovern, and RHP Cory Thompson) While these moves are not "earth-shattering," they can be important in the grand scheme. If you deal away farm hands for Major League talent, you need to absorb that or get some young talent in return. Now I have no inside knowledge of any deal. However, to me the addition of minor league Free Agents and waiver acclimations do point to a build-up before a trade or trades. Please make no mistake; we need to make a trade.


Giancarlo Stanton AP photo

The contract of players matters greatly when there are trade negotiations. You have, of course, the length of the contract. Will it affect your team long-term or just a couple of years? A short one or two-year contract could be just a fill-in until minor league talent is ready. But, on the other hand, taking someone with a longer-term contract has a substantial financial attachment like the Yankees did With Stanton in 2018.

It is to solidify a position so that players can be developed for other positions later or give you a consistent player or players to build around. Stanton also came with a No-Trade Clause. NTCs are designed to provide the player with a voice in the negotiations. This limits a team's ability to affect a trade if a player has teams he does or does not want to play for. Also, options in terms of opt-out years where a player can void the contract and go Free Agent. or team options where the team can either continue the contract or buy out the remaining years of the contract, thereby making the player a free agent (such as the Cardinals did with Kolten Wong). Then you have those pla