Matt Carpenter is awesome. Sometimes this fact can be easy to forget because of how consistently awesome Matt Carpenter has been. In his six years wearing the Birds on the Bat, Carpenter has put up over 23 fWAR. He has never ended a season with a wRC+ under 117. As Matthew Ludwig wrote Tuesday morning, appreciating him should not be so hard. So why would the Cardinals look at Eric Hosmer? Earlier this offseason we discussed that Carpenter is more likely a better value than Hosmer. Would the Cardinals possibly trade their most valuable position player over the last six years to make room for another player?
Turns out they do not have to trade him to make room for Hosmer. Matt Carpenter comes through again - he can play multiple positions.
According to Jon Morosi, that is just what they hope to do:
Source: #STLCards remain involved in pursuit of Eric Hosmer, among other options to upgrade lineup. Cardinals also interested in third basemen, including Josh Donaldson in trade. Matt Carpenter’s versatility means Cardinals could add a 1B as easily as a 3B. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 2, 2018
Because of Carpenter’s ability to play third base or first base, both Hosmer and Josh Donaldson are still in play. Of course, Hosmer is a free agent and does not appear to be highly sought after. He will be the easier get. On the other hand, Josh Donaldson would need to be traded for and has only one year left on his current contract. However, Steamer projects Donaldson’s fWAR at 6.4 while Hosmer’s is just above average at 2.6, so it is quite obvious who the better player is. Sorry, we still have to suffer through the Hosmer rumors a little longer, but look, look! Josh Donaldson! Doesn’t he look lovely?
We are all in this together folks. Deep breath.
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