The Cardinals have “renewed interest” in Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports in his latest notes column (subscription required). It isn’t clear how seriously interested St. Louis is, however, and Rosenthal notes that adding Moustakas would lead to a crowded infield situation. Matt Carpenter would have to be moved to either second base or first base, displacing either the light-hitting but defensively brilliant Kolten Wong, or the hard-hitting Jose Martinez and his sub-par first base glove. One option could be to flip Martinez for some immediate help in another area, Rosenthal suggests, listing the Twins as a potential suitor for Martinez — Minnesota, of course, is a fringe contender at best right now, but Martinez would be a long-term piece at first base and DH. On the other hand, Martinez has been perhaps the Cardinals’ best hitter this season and he is controllable through the 2022 season. This is just one of many scenarios that could play out involving these players, of course, as the Cards (like every front office in the game) is weighing dozens of potential scenarios as we approach the trade deadline. St. Louis still seems to be in the planning stages, as Rosenthal writes that the Cards “have yet to engage seriously on any one player.”
Here are some more hot stove items from Rosenthal’s column…
- The Brewers were interested in Royals second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield this past offseason and are once again inquiring on his services. The late-blooming Merrifield has continued to establish himself as a solid everyday player this season, batting .284/.358/.401 over 339 PA, plus 16 steals in 20 chances. Second base has been a problem spot for Milwaukee, and while the Brewers recently acquired Brad Miller as infield depth, Merrifield would represent a more solid upgrade at the keystone. Though the Brewers could also need rotation help, Rosenthal reports that they haven’t discussed Danny Duffy as part of their talks with Kansas City.
- Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is drawing a lot of interest from not just contenders like the Phillies, Dodgers and Yankees, but also from rebuilding teams like the Padres. Clearly Fulmer would be a fit for a lot of teams considering both his ability and his years of control; he isn’t arbitration-eligible until this winter, and he has four years of arbitration coming as a Super Two player. Fancred Sports’ Jon Heyman wrote earlier this week that it could be unlikely that Fulmer is actually dealt, as Detroit has naturally put a big price tag on the righty in trade talks. San Diego is deep in prospects, however, so the Friars could be one of the few teams who wouldn’t immediately balk at the Tigers’ demands.
- Brandon Drury’s return to the Yankees came with some service time implications, as Rosenthal notes that New York could have gained an extra year of control over the utilityman by keeping him in the minors until Sunday. It’s possible Drury could still be demoted again at some point this season, and if so, he wouldn’t qualify for free agency until after the 2022 season. This could potentially make Drury more valuable to other teams in trade talks, as the Yankees are deep in long-term infield options and might see Drury as expendable.