Max Scherzer injury nearly changed St. Louis Cardinals’ trade plans
If Max Scherzer and Jon Gray are out of the St. Louis Cardinals’ price range, could they turn to Detroit Tigers lefty Matthew Boyd?
As Max Scherzer and Jon Gray, arguably the two best pitchers expected to be available at the July 30 trade deadline, battle injuries, the St. Louis Cardinals may need to get creative in searching for rotation depth and upgrades.
They are already in talks with free-agent right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller and are exploring other avenues on the market. But if they want impact arms at the major-league level, they will need to make a trade or two, and MLB Trade Rumors listed Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd as one of the top trade candidates this season.
Boyd, 30, fits exactly what the Cardinals are looking for. He would give the team another left-hander to pair alongside Kwang-hyun Kim should he return from a back injury. He is signed through 2022 at a reasonably cheap rate ($6.5 million) and would not require the Cardinals to stretch payroll or part with any of their top prospects.
However, Boyd will likely require a multi-player package that would result in them parting with a top 10 prospect, but should not cost them Nolan Gorman. He has had a resurgent year after a brief period of struggles, posting a 3.56 ERA and 54/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 68.1 innings, with a new and improved changeup being the key to his success.
Boyd is not the perfect trade candidate, of course, as he has struggled with consistency and allowing the long ball in his career (he allowed 39 homers in 2019) and has never had an ERA under 4.39 in his seven seasons. But he would go a long way toward improving the rotation and the controllability and reasonable trade cost may make him more appealing to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak than Scherzer or Gray, who will both be free agents at the end of the season.