St. Louis Cardinals Trade Rumors: Mark Trumbo for Joe Kelly and Young Arms?

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Oct 29, 2013 12:28 PM EDT
St. Louis Cardinals Live Stream: Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly throws a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at PNC Park. Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are still battling for a World Series, but the MLB Hot Stove is already getting lit up with trade candidates. After the World Series concludes, the Cardinals will probably hear a lot of trade rumors and offers regarding their young pitching. Mark Trumbo it possibly being shopped out of L.A. as the Angels are seeking starting pitching. Guess who has great starting pitching? The Cardinals. 

Look at a young arm like Joe Kelly. He is only 25 years old and has back-to-back years playing in the postseason. His numbers are not phenomenal, but in 11 appearances, he is 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA after allowing 12 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched. The important thing that Kelly is proving is that he can hang with the big boys. When he takes the mound, he has given the Cardinals a chance to win. Kelly is poised and has the ability to shut down the best hitters in baseball.

Why trade for Trumbo? 
Trumbo is a first baseman, but he can also play the outfield. A bulk of his 159 games played in 2013 came at first base, but he played right field 19 times, making 17 starts. Trumbo is versatile and he provides the power the Cardinals lack in the middle of their lineup.

In 2013, the Cardinals finished with the fourth lowest home run total, hitting only 125 home runs. Trumbo tied sixth in baseball, hitting 34 home runs this past season. The Cardinals already possess a great hitting lineup, which would be offset a bit by Trumbo's tendencies to strikeout, which will lead to a low batting average. Only Adam Dunn and Pedro Alvarez had lower batting averages than Trumbo among players who hit 30 home runs or more this season. However, because the Cardinals have guys like Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Allen Crag and Matt Holliday, who hit for average at the top of the order, Trumbo could fit in perfectly as the home run threat in the lineup. 

Carlos Beltran in 2014? 
Will Carlos be a Cardinal in 2014? That remains to be seen. While he is one of the league's most consistent forces when healthy and one of the best postseason hitters in the history of the game, Beltran is old. He will be entering his 17th season in the majors if he finds a place to play and chances are, barring the Cardinals win the World Series, Beltran will want to return for at least another year. 

If anything, Trumbo would be a good replacement for Beltran. While Trumbo is not a switch hitter, he can play the corner outfield position and will come at a cheap price as he will probably cost the Angels less than $5 million in 2014. 

The question is, do the Cardinals want to part way with their young pitching for a home run hitter? 

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