How do we begin to covet? Make an effort to answer, now. Do we seek out things to covet?
No, of course not. We begin by coveting that which we see every day.
Well, today I want you to seek out something to covet. Today I want you to cast your mind about, through the ranks of major league baseball, and find the one thing you can covet for our happy little Cardinal family here.
By which I mean, of course, I want to know, if you could fire up the magic machine and add one player to the Redbirds right this second, who would it be?
Mike Trout is the easy answer, of course; so easy, in fact, I would imagine we could very nearly build an actual, near-universal consensus on him as the most correct of all possible answers. And, hey, if that's the guy you want, then by all means, make that your choice. For me, while he's the logical choice, I actually always kind of shy away from that line of thinking, primarily because, as silly as it might sound (we are, after all, talking about a magic situation), imagining Mike Trout on the Cardinals forces me to assume Shelby Miller is not a Cardinal. As in, the only way I ever think of acquiring Trout is for the Redbirds to have drafted him in 2009 instead of Shelby. And, while I would go back in time and make that happen, make Trout the draft pick instead of Miller in a heartbeat, the time machine game creates just enough cognitive static that I can't play the magic player theft game with Mike Trout.
You have to take the player's salary with the player; magic does not erase contractual obligations. You do not, however, have to give anything up for the player. This is not trading for one player; this is simply poof-ing a player onto the squad.
Tulowitzki seems to me to be an excellent target for this magic trick; after all, if you're not giving anything up for him, the contract isn't nearly the same kind of killer it is otherwise. Remember that time back in spring training, when all the rumours were flying around that the Cards might be honestly interested in bringing Tulowitzki to St. Louis? The objections there were virtually never about the contract itself, but rather the haul of talent you would be expected to put out for a player whose contractual situation -- not to mention the situation in which the team finds itself -- essentially made his trade value very nearly zero, despite the obvious value of the player himself. He's currently having an MVP type season, and while you would certainly expect his numbers to regress outside of Colorado, he's still absolutely crushing it this season. There's also, you know, the whole Pete Kozma thing.
There are plenty of pitchers to covet, as well; who doesn't think it would be awesome to have Matt Harvey or Rick Porcello (both of whom the Cards passed on drafting back in 2007, I might add), sitting there in the Redbird rotation right now? Nobody doesn't think it would be awesome, that's who. Or how about Clayton Kershaw? Yeah, that would be pretty sweet.
For me, though, if you offered me one player I could add, I think I would be forced to choose the guy the Cards just saw, and got roughed up by, last week: Giancarlo Stanton. Maybe it's just the fact I fully expect Stanton to actually be moved in the next two years or so that makes me think of him (sort of reality bleeding into the magic game kind of thing), but if I could add any one player to this Cardinal team right now, I think that would probably be my choice.
So who's your guy? And, just as importantly, why?