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Cardinals Discussing Dontrelle Willis Trade

The Cardinals message boards are lighting up, and with good reason: there is a legitimate Dontrelle Willis rumor making the rounds.

The thread was started by a respected Cards source who goes by the handle Hawg Wild.  I can confirm that this guy has a track record of success.  Colby Rasmus is a 19 year-old outfielder in high Class A.  He was a first-round pick and is easily the team's best prospect now that Anthony Reyes is in the bigs.  According to Rasmus's father:

"Colby just called me and said his agent told him of conversations the cardinals were having with the possibility of Colby and a three or four other Cardinal players going to Florida in return for Dontrelle Willis. Reyes and Colby were the only 2 players Colby was told about, he did not hear who the other 2/3 players were. His words to me, 'Man that sucks.'"

Then to quiet any doubters, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz stepped in:

"I tried to drop a major hint in today's column....FLA wants Reyes, Rasmus and Duncan -- and that's not all. Probably one more... possibly their pick of the Cardinals' system."

The Cardinals need a big move; it looks like Walt Jocketty may package everything he's got to get D-Train.  Check out Viva El Birdos for analysis.  After much deliberating, Viva chooses to endorse such a trade.

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"it looks like Walt Jocketty may package everything he's got to get D-Train"

Why would they trade the D-Train to the Cards? The Marlins could get a veritable cornucopia of talent from the D-Backs. Three A prospects if they wanted.

I'm, frankly, not too crazy about Reyes. A 23 yo at AAA should put up better HR/9 numbers. He's a middle rotation guy at best.

Now, if we were talking Lester, Bailey, Billingsley, then yeah. But Anthony Reyes? The Mets could do better and they ain't even a prospect laden organization! What about the Angels or Dodgers? They have stacked farm systems. Have the Marlins gone stupid? Has the world gone mad?

WOw, that is a doosy! I disagree w/Erik, and say that is a totally exceptional deal. I mean, yes the clubs mentioned may have the best systems, but they probably won't give up 3 A prospects for DTRAIN. Reyes would fill his spot nicely. Duncan can really play, and a 1st round OF pick...PLUS the choice of any other Minor leaguer for one player who has a sub .500 record this year!!! Do it Florida! That can only help you guys down the road.

Okay. Let's take this step-by-step and as objectively as possible.

1. Duncan can really play.

Counterpoint: Duncan has a .753 OPS in 2871 minor league AB's and is probably NOT a good bet to be anything more than a fourth outfielder.

2. Reyes would fill his spot nicely.

Counterpoint: Reyes is a nice pitcher, but hardly of Willis' caliber/profile. He would be a nice start to such a package.

3. That can only help you guys down the road.

Counterpoint: The cielings on these guys are rather low compared to the Brandon Wood's, Lastings Milledge's, Homer Bailey's Carlos Quentin's of the world.

It's like trading a bunch of B prospects for a superstar. Why settle for anything less than three A prospects and why do it now? Why would the Fish be in such a hurry?

No, no, no. This makes no sense.

I would think that there would have to be a can't miss prospect at AA or above going to FLA, along with Reyes and maybe another.

The kid whose father started this is their version of Milledge. If you go to Mongers link for this and read the fan reaction they are thinking about this like Mets fans would react if we traded Lastings, Pelfrey, Gomez, and a pick of our other guys for him. You need to listen to the fan base before ripping this. I understand your counterpoints, but I don't really agree with all of them. Reyes is a stud. No doubt. And The kid is as can't miss as they come (according to Cards fans)

rasmus has been really really good since being drafted last year. still, i'm not close to calling him milledge yet. he's a very good all-around player though, he definitely fits the cardinal mold. furthermore, i think most fans see two things...

1. we are pretty devoid of young talent in the OF, which is arguably the thing we need most in the next few years with the situation in LF and jimmy getting older.

2. we got fleeced on a similar deal for mulder. we'd look a lot better with haren, cali, and barton in our system than mark 'my fastball tops out at 88' mulder. and reyes has shown a lot more so far than haren did in STL.

as a fan, i'd absolutely love to see willis in STL. however, i'm skeptical as to whether this is really a good trade for the cards if we're thinking about the next 5 yrs or more.

Look, i'm not the biggest Milledge fan, but he IS a stud prospect. Many consider him the best CF prospect in baseball. The Cardinals don't have a single prospect that good.

Personally, i'd love to see it. Trading your entire farm for a guy with wonky mechanics. It just doesn't seem viable to me is all.

I'm not sure it makes sense for the Cards, actually. Seems like every expert from the folks at BP to Ron Shandler are forecasting injuries to derail Dontrelle's career. It looks like they maybe right, as Willis's ERA is back around 4 and his k's are down from 6.8 per to 5.6 per...

Reyes hasn't really struggled with HR's until recently. He has a career 7:1K/BB ratio I think for his minor league career and he has some pretty filthy stuff. TheRealErik, have you seen Reyes pitch? He's the real thing. Great location, moving fastball, nice breaking stuff and a changeup that makes batters look like idiots. And he's still learning the ropes. He's not Liriano, but he looks like a very solid #2 guy to me.

I'm just not sure you give up one pitcher who projects to have the same #'s or possibly even better, and give up your best MiLB bat and then some for Willis. It does seem like Mulder part 2 again to me too.

"TheRealErik, have you seen Reyes pitch?"
A little. I don't love him that much. Looks like a solid #2/#3. ACE's usually keep their HR rates in the minors under 0.5/9. It's an excellent marker found in almost every future star.

Just to educate y'all, what do Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon, David Cone, Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Andy Pettitte, Brad Radke, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Barry Zito have in common? Great HR rates and fairly mediocre peripherals relative to their talents. High walk rates (BB/9 over 4 in most cases) and very bleh K/BB ratios (mostly around 2.0).

You just never can tell. It's the beauty of baseball.

Horrible, Horrible trade idea for the Cards...

Willis has taken huge steps backwards, his value isn't that great in my book. 3.94 Era, 1.42whip, .282 baa, 6-7 record.
and the mechanics have to make him injury prone.

and the Cards would give up Reyes? Next Yr's #2
Chris Duncan should be playing in LF everyday right now. Rasmus? Who just happens to be the best prospect we have. and another player? the hell with that Idea. I can't see Willis being any more valueable than Reyes the rest of this season. and the rest of the players? Well walt should be strung up if he allows himself to get taken like that.

Rasmus+Reyes is better than Willis, IMO. I dont understand how removing your 2nd best pitcher to add another pitcher who will be your second best pitcher helps your team. Rasmus is one of the better outfielders in the low minors right now. This trade would be terrible for Jocketty.

James,

Even without Rasmus, you could make the arguement that Reyes for Willis isn't even that much of a good deal.

Willis has fallen off last Yr's numbers pretty badly

I added a link to analysis at Viva El Birdos. It sums up both sides pretty well.

Interesting analysis. I agree that this may be one of their best chances to win it all. I'm not sold on shipping out the farm for Willis. But, if they figure it's going to be a rebuild period in a couple years anyway, it might be time to go for it all.

The idea being brought up over at Viva is even worse

adding Stu Pomeranz is a terrible terrible terrible idea

I disagree that the Mets aren't "prospect laden". They have great future pitchers in Brian Bannister, Alay Soler, Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, and John Maine. Not to mention Lastings Milledge and Henry Owens in the 'pen. Not the biggest set of prospects, but certainly enough to deal from without killing themselves. If we only had Scott Kazmir back...dang you Jim Duquette!! By the way, the Cards should trade the farm for D-Willis...Reyes is overrated at this point in his career and after Carpenter the rest of the staff is basically like taking home your date after prom...you never know what you're going to get.

Ok...anyone who thinks that Reyes is more valuable than Willis is smoking crack. Willis is in a bad situation in Florida, and he would thrive in St. Louis (full stadium every night, great teammates, great manager, great pitching coach). Reyes has potential, but everyone needs to put their fantasy baseball GM hat aside and just look at the deal. Duncan isn't the solution for the Cards in LF and Reyes still has yet to show he can consistently pitch well at any level (he was inconsistent in AAA as well). As far as Rasmus, I hear you, but come one...he is still a few years away most likely. Willis can help them win the NL and get to the World Series right now. Getting Willis would help them immensely in signing additional free agents this off-season.

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