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.