The St. Louis Cardinals Should Move Corey Dickerson

The Cardinals veteran outfielder, Corey Dickerson, is due back from the injured list soon, but does St.Louis need him?

Dickerson Has Been a Disappointment

This past offseason, the Cardinals took a one-year, $5 million flier on a journeyman veteran to bolster their outfield depth. Unfortunately, Dickerson has not been up to the task. Before the injury, he was putting up dismal numbers (.194/.245/.286), on pace for career lows in just about everything. He hasn’t had a shortage of opportunities to improve either. St.Louis has given him 98 at-bats in 38 games. Defensively, he has been average at best. At the end of the day, his -0.5 WAR thus far makes it pretty clear that this signing has provided little-to-no value.

Creating a Logjam

A big reason why Dickerson was brought in was the idea that the Cardinals had several prospects that were not quite ready to play on a regular basis. Youngsters Juan Yepez, Brendan Donovan, and Lars Nootbar have all had promising starts. As has Nolan Gorman. Though not an outfielder, he has been competing for at-bats off the bench. These guys all have earned more playing time. At least a few of them will be part of St.Louis’ core of the future. A guy like Dickerson, who almost certainly will not be back next year, is just taking away valuable at-bats. we have already seen that there are not enough to go around, as Nootbar was just optioned to Memphis on Friday.

The Cardinals Have Needs Elsewhere

If there is one thing that might keep the redbirds from being serious contenders this season, it’s pitching. The starting rotation has been serviceable, but they will need Jack Flaherty to quickly get back to his old self once he returns from injury. The biggest weakness is the bullpen. The late-game crew is pretty solid with Ryan Helsley and Giovanny Gallegos. What St.Louis needs is someone to eat up those middle innings. Preferably, they should look for some that can provide some long relief as well as a few spot-starts.

Possible Trade Options

Dickerson has very little trade value right now. The best the Cardinals could hope for would be to package him with a prospect to a seller looking to get rid of a big contract. One team that could fit the bill is the Kansas City Royals. They have a glut of pitchers on their roster and could use the outfield depth. There are starters such as Brad Keller and Zack Greinke, who won’t be stars, (yeah, we’re talking about THAT Greinke, but he’s not that guy anymore) but could turn the rotation into a strength. Also, there are relievers like Amir Garrett and Josh Staumont. All of these guys, and more, could be available. At this point, the most value Corey Dickerson could provide the Cardinals would be as part of a trade package to improve the team’s pitching.

Could Joel Embiid Really Join The Heat?

The other day, Sixers center Joel Embiid sent out this tweet that led to a whirlwind of speculation.

It immediately begs the question,  when Embiid says, “Miami needs another star,” is he referring to himself? If so, could Joel Embiid to the Heat be in our future?

Embiid Isn’t Wrong

First, let’s be clear that Embiid does have a point here. At the moment, Jimmy Butler is Miami’s best player, and the team’s only true “star.” Bam Adebayo is probably the next closest to that designation, but he is not quite there yet. Looking at the rest of the roster, they have some great role players and veterans who were once stars, but their best days are behind them. One thing is obvious, if Embiid joined the Heat tomorrow, he would immediately become the best player on the roster. What team wouldn’t want to add him?

Could Embiid Want Out?

The big question here is whether or not Embiid would actually leave Philly. He has established himself as the undisputed leader of the team and is beloved by that city. However, frustration could be mounting for the Sixers big man after a fifth consecutive postseason exit without making the conference finals. Philly’s front office has failed to put a star alongside Embiid. They had Butler for the 2018-19 season, which ended in a heartbreaking game seven loss to the eventual champions in Toronto. Rather than trying to run it back, Butler was sent to Miami.

The latest attempt at finding a running mate for Embiid was a trade for James Harden. Unfortunately, Harden is a shell of his former self. Worse yet, he has an irresistible player option for next season that would pay him over $47 million, making him virtually untradeable. Is Embiid willing to risk wasting another year of his prime on a team that will likely struggle to contend for a title? He might decide that the Sixers have had enough chances and that it is time to move on.

If he does, Miami would be a near-perfect fit. Embiid and Butler already have a great relationship and their playing styles mesh together well. Both are playmakers with and without the ball. Also, Embiid already plays with the tenacity that Heat coach, Erik Spoelstra, demands. Most importantly, the addition of Embiid would transform a Miami team that is currently a contender into a juggernaut.

How Would a Joel Embiid to the Heat Move Work?

Given that Embiid is under contract for next season, any move would require a trade. Also, he cannot be traded until July 17. So, what would a potential trade look like? After using ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, and then adding in some draft picks, here is one possibility:

Miami receives: Joel Embiid

Philadelphia receives: Bam Adebayo, Max Strus, Miami 2023 1st round pick, Miami 2024 1st round pick.

For Miami, Embiid would be a significant upgrade over Adebayo. Giving up Strus and two firsts is the price of doing business, one that they would happily pay. On the other side, any trade in which Philly gives up Embiid would feel like a loss. The compensation is not terrible, but it is hard to see how the Sixers get better in this trade. It is important to note that this trade would only happen if Embiid demanded it. This would give Philly little leverage.

Will it Happen?

At the end of the day, it is hard to picture Embiid being anywhere but Philly next season. I think it is more likely that Daryl Morey finds a way to either trade Harden or add another shooter. Still, this situation is something to keep an eye on. Embiid is heading into the final year of his contract. If the Sixers are not looking like contenders when next year’s trade deadline rolls around, all bets are off.