A big stir in the Cardinals news cycle was caused by Buster Olney speculating in his ESPN column about the possibility of the Cardinals trading Matt Carpenter and signing Eric Hosmer to play first base. Per Olney:
What follows is speculation: Carpenter is owed $30.5 million for the next two seasons, including a $2 million buyout on a 2020 option. The Cardinals have discussed the need to get better defensively, to get more athletic, and unquestionably, they would do so if they dealt Carpenter away and invested in Hosmer to be their everyday first baseman -- and Hosmer would make the Cardinals' pitching and the rest of the St. Louis infielders better with his defensive prowess.
The thirty-one year-old Carpenter is coming off a down year, a 123 wRC+ just not enough to “play” at first base for a 2.9 fWAR. On the other hand, Hosmer at twenty-seven years-old, is coming off a career year with 135 wRC+ and is known for quality defense. It might make sense?
Of course, Carpenter’s down year was probably due to injury and he still put up valuable numbers, Hosmer posted the highest average on balls in play of his career a .351 while Carpenter posted his lowest at .274, and since Hosmer walks significantly less than Carpenter, his on base percentage was .385 to Carpenter’s .384. Finally, and quite importantly, in 2018 Carpenter will be owed $13.5 million and $14.5 million in 2019 - a bargain if he is able to repeat the “low” numbers of 2017, while a deal for similar production from Hosmer might cost much more. It might not make sense?
What do you think?
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