The Matt Adams to Colorado Trade Thread: What could we get in return?

The Colorado Rockies grabbed former shortstop and center fielder Ian Desmond off the free agent market fairly early in the 2016-2017 off-season and made a strange declaration. Desmond is to play first base. You take a guy who was never the BEST defender at the two toughest (non-catcher division) positions defensively on the field, but was serviceable - average to above nearly every year - and move him as far down the defensive spectrum as possible. I’m not sure I can figure out what they were thinking on that one.
In any case, in Spring Training, Desmond got hit by a pitch on the hand and is broken for the next little bit here. Of course, that began the trade rumors here in Cardinals Nation.
Matt Adams is a (formerly large, yet fairly lithe) first baseman who is now blocked by new First Baseman Matt Carpenter. Adams had somewhat of a resurgent year last year. In any case, I’m not going to rehash here the good reasons that Adams could be traded. Other places have done that and done it quite well.
Here: at Redbird Rants, I think they come up with an absolutely moronic and flat out irresponsible end decision, but run down quite superbly why Colorado could need Adams.
Here: Sports Radio host and writer of everythings Dan Buffa discusses both sides of the Adams debate - flipping him or keeping him.
What I want to do here today instead is talk about what the value should be in return if Adams were to be shipped off to Colorado. When healthy, Adams is quite a hitter. He is, by the OPS+ and wRC+ metrics - that are park and league adjusted, about as good as Mark Trumbo. That’s the same guy that led the entire league in home runs a year ago.
This offseason, the Cardinals made what seemed to be a selling off type move in trading away oft-injured Jaime Garcia. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the return, the Cardinals got two players that were top 30 prospects for the Braves and another guy who was borderline top 30 if not in. One of them, John Gant, has pitched his tail off this spring and maybe won either a bullpen spot in the majors or a AAA starting gig ahead of some other stiff competition. While it’s a great job by Cards’ GM Mozeliak, I was hoping for one better prospect (somewhere in the 8-12 range of an organization’s list) rather than the quantity over quality approach.
That is also what I’m hoping for from Matt Adams here. I don’t think Adams is as good as Garcia has shown he can be in his peak...however, Adams is cost controlled for two more seasons rather than 1 - and will make less than half of what Garcia makes in 2017 in both of his years maybe looking at a top 10-15 type prospect or a top 12-15 and another guy sounds like it could be in the ballpark if that’s what Colorado is willing to part with.
Who would that be? Well, the Cardinals have a dearth of prospects at third base and first base - but mainly at third base. They almost literally have nobody of worth there in the minors. I’d start there. The Rockies do have a 1B/3B prospect in Ryan McMahon, but the four lists I’ve looked at have him all in the 7-10 range for top Rockies’ prospects. I don’t think you can get McMahon for Adams unless the Rockies believe 1) Adams is completely healthy, 2) Desmond’s injury is much worse than reported, and 3) there’s nobody out there similar to Adams that you only have to pay money for. The deeper prospect lists I know are John Sickels’ list over at Minor League Ball and the MLB Pipeline list at
So, let’s dig deeper. The Rockies do have two other third base prospects in their top 20. They have Tyler Nevin (son of former big leaguer Phil Nevin, who also played third) and Colton Welker. Nevin is ranked 18th (C+ prospect) on Minor League Ball and 17th on Pipeline. There are questions about whether Nevin will stick at third base or if he will end up at first base. Apparently the bat is for real - should be at least league average hit and above average power tools - and arm. Welker is ranked as the Rockies 19th (C+ prospect) on Minor League Ball but up at 15th on Pipeline. They seem to be fairly redundant prospects (and both stuck inbetween a rock and a hard place with Arenado on the MLB roster). Welker should hit for power and play a decent third, but might switch to first...sound familiar? Apparently Nevin’s a little more athletic and quick (unlike his father), but Welker has slightly better hands. Probably a wash there.
If I were the Cardinals, I would want a little more than either one of them, however. I suppose I could live with one of them if that’s all the Cards got, but I think I’d want one more piece. Something either low minors with upside or another arm that could bolster the pen this year or next...but not on the 40-man yet.
Sam Moll is given a C grade and is ranked outside of the top 30 on Minor League Ball, but is at 27th on Pipeline’s list. He is a left-handed pitcher who made it as high as AAA last year. According to Pipeline, he’s got a 60 grade fastball, 55 grade slider, and 50 grade change up...with 50 Control (on the 20-80 scale). He’s 25 and would fit that "could bolster the pen" soon category. The higher upside but lower floor low minors guy might be a guy like Robert Tyler a RHP with a huge fastball and very little any control or breaking ball. He’s got a 75 grade on his fastball, which is almost literally the only thing that gets him into the Rockies’ top 25 - at #24 on Pipeline and just at #29 on Minor League Ball. While I think the Cards could get either guy in the return, I’d probably be more immediately excited about Moll but would want to follow Tyler with a closer eye on the stats and see if he could figure out the control issues because a 75 arm is a 75 arm.
So, that’s what I would be looking for in return. What say you?