Don’t get too excited just yet…this is pure speculation. But what if the AJ Pierzynski signing was the first sign of John Mozeliak gearing up to acquire a starting pitcher?
The logic goes somewhat like this:
The Cardinals were reportedly in talks to explore a trade for Kurt Suzuki, the .300+ hitting catcher for the Minnesota Twins. If the deal worked out, Mo would be forced to part with a prospect or two just to replace some of Yadi’s offense. But he still has to improve the starting rotation as well.
So…perhaps the Cards’ GM envisioned a two-pronged trade market plan that saw the Cardinals improve the offense by spending a couple players to get Suzuki, and then improve the rotation by giving the Red Sox a marginal minor leaguer and some salary relief to get Jake Peavy.
The problem is, the Oakland Athletics were also rumored to be involved in the Suzuki talks to replace their injured starting catcher. It’s more than likely the price for Suzuki got a bit too high for Mozeliak’s taste with such a competitor sitting at the table.
So he backs out of the Suzuki talks, spends zero prospects to acquire AJ Pierzynski…Jake Peavy goes to the San Francisco Giants (announced today), and Mozeliak is left with all the potential prospects from a Peavy and Suzuki deal still in hand…with a glaring need for starting pitching staring him in the face.
And now we hear that Jon Lester would be open to returning to the Red Sox at the end of the season if traded this year. Combine that with the fact that the Red Sox have already reportedly scouted the Cards’ minor league system in preparation for a Peavy (or Lester?) deal and that Lester’s competitive personality could easily blend with the professional and competitive atmosphere of the Cardinals’ clubhouse (plus, how about reuniting with old backstop Pierzynski, eh? although that may not be a plus…)…and the groundwork exists for a deal.
Not to mention the fact that Lester would cost less than a David Price trade due to his rental, end-of-contract-year status.
It’s not much to go on and likely just more creative trade deadline thinking…
But don’t be surprised if suddenly Jon Lester is sitting in the opposite dugout when the Cardinals host the Red Sox next month.