Lars Nootbaar #68 of the St. Louis Cardinals laughs before a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 14, 2021 in New York City. The Cardinals defeated the Mets 7-6 in eleven innings. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
St. Louis Cardinals: Let’s put Paul DeJong’s trade talk to bed
Former MLB scout Bernie Pleskoff believes the St. Louis Cardinals should pursue a Lars Nootbaar trade with the Cleveland Guardians.
Trade chatter surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals has centered around Paul DeJong with slim to zero chances of a deal materializing before opening day.
Perhaps to bolster the Cardinals’ internal pitching depth, former MLB scout Bernie Pleskoff believes they should sell outfielder Lars Nootbaar to the Cleveland Guardians.
To be clear, Pleskoff doesn’t want the Cardinals to sell low on Nootbaar. He wants the Guardians to buy Nootbaar on the cheap as he believes the 24-year-old outfielder has the potential to become a top-flight major league player. From Pleskoff:
“It is the Nootbaar bat that most fascinates this author. It’s his ability to consistently make hard contact with a measured swing that’s most intriguing. And for this scout, he has tremendous advantages as a batsman. More power is waiting to be released. His slight leg kick sets his momentum in motion off the left side of the plate.”
If I’m the Cardinals, Nootbaar isn’t a player I’d trade unless the deal is too good to be true. While his numbers in 58 games last season — a .239 batting average with a .739 OPS, five homers and 15 RBI (.7 WAR) — don’t jump off the screen, the Cardinals expect him to continue to improve. In addition, he is young, has potential and will be signed for the long term at a very reasonable price.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Nootbaar’s name pops up in more trade rumors for precisely these reasons. But as the No. 4 outfielder, the Cardinals can do a lot worse, and his perks and contract make him a valuable asset — both for St. Louis and perhaps the other 29 teams in the league.
That’s why the Cardinals should stick to Nootbaar, but also pick up the phone if another team calls. You never know what’s on offer.