The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly interested in a Carlos Gonzalez trade with the Colorado Rockies, while players like Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson also could be targets. The Cards are looking to upgrade in the outfield after losing Jason Heyward to the Cubs and Alex Gordon could be a potential free agent option if a trade does not work out.
The Cardinals lost both John Lackey and Heyward to the rival Cubs this offseason and the team could try and counter by making a major move of their own. The team has signed Mike Leake as a free agent, but the outfield remains a concern for Mike Matheny and the front office. According to Jon Morosi at Fox Sports, the Cardinals and the Rockies have "engaged in trade dialogue" regarding outfielders and players like Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson are all considered "available" by the team.
The Cardinals are not the only team interested in the Rockies group of outfielders, as Jim Bowden at ESPN reports that "five teams" have checked in about Gonzalez so far. ESPN names the Cardinals, Nationals and Kansas City Royals as teams that have been interested in the outfielder. The Royals have Alex Gordon as a free agent and reports have the two sides far apart in contract talks, making a trade an option to help replace Gordon in the outfield.
The Rockies reportedly will want a big haul of prospects for Gonzalez and teams like the Cardinals and Nationals have deep farm systems that they could use to get a deal done. Benjamin Hochman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Rockies group of players "intrigues" the Cardinals and while Gonzalez would be the best player of the three to go after, St. Louis could consider the other two options as well.
Gonzalez is the most expensive but is also the most talented and he comes in with nearly $40 million left on his contract. That isn't a huge amount of money (especially compared to what Jason Heyward would have gotten from the team), but Gonzalez has also dealt with injuries in the past and that could be a risk. Gonzalez is coming off of a strong season and that should raise his trade value a bit more for the Rockies.
Gonzalez played in 153 games last season, the most in his career and he also hit a career best 40 home runs while putting up a .271 average with 97 RBI. It's all hard to figure out if Gonzalez and his power numbers are inflated due to playing at Coors Field, something the Cardinals likely will take into consideration. Dickerson and Blackmon both have upsides as well and they likely would cost less than trading for Gonzalez or signing Gordon. The Cardinals added Mike Leake on a free agent deal earlier in the month and while that is not as big a move as keeping Heyward would have been, the team added some depth to the starting rotation.