Cardinals Notes: Sosa, Gorman, Pitching

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The Cardinals have received trade calls on Nolan Gorman and Edmundo Sosa, Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, with an unknown American League team expressing particular interest in Sosa.  It isn’t known if the Cards are close to a deal on either player, though it would seem like the scope of a trade involving Gorman would be quite different than the scope of a Sosa deal (assuming, of course, that both players wouldn’t be moved in the same swap).

Gorman is one of the game’s top prospects, and he has started his big league career with a respectable 110 wRC+ (from a .229/.303/.430 slash line and 10 home runs) over his first 198 plate appearances in the Show.  Under normal circumstances, the Cardinals wouldn’t be looking to move such a potential cornerstone player at all, except Gorman has reportedly been part of the club’s discussions with the Nationals about Juan Soto.  Given how St. Louis is deep in infield prospects, it isn’t out of the question that the Cardinals could include Gorman as part of a package for a proven superstar, though it would likely take a Soto-level special talent to spur such a move.

Sosa would naturally be far more of an expendable piece than Gorman, as Sosa has hit only .188/.244/.270 over 131 PA in part-time backup action this season.  An international signing for the Cardinals back in 2012, Sosa had decent but unspectacular numbers during his time in the farm system, and didn’t hit much in a handful of big league games in 2018 and 2019.  However, Sosa unexpectedly emerged as a regular at shortstop in 2021, as Paul DeJong’s struggles opened the door for Sosa to earn more playing time, and he responded with a .271/.346/389 slash line in 326 PA and excellent defense.

With this season’s downturn in production, Sosa has returned to a backup role, as Gorman and Tommy Edman have become the regular middle infield combo.  Rookie Brendan Donovan has also cut into Sosa’s utilityman role, and yet with Sosa out of minor league options, St. Louis hasn’t been able to send Sosa to the minors without exposing him to waivers.  If that wasn’t enough of a crunch, DeJong is hitting well at Triple-A, and could be working himself back into the Cardinals’ plans as a backup on the Major League roster.

Sosa is controlled through the 2026 season, and even if rival clubs might not necessarily see him as a long-term piece, he could fit into many rosters as versatile, glove-first infield depth.  Sosa alone wouldn’t be the centerpiece of a major trade, but if the Cardinals were looking to package multiple players together, Sosa could be an interesting addition.  For instance, a team that moves another infielder in a separate trade could then pivot to acquire Sosa to fill that hole on their roster for at least the rest of the 2022 season.

As much as the Soto trade rumors have caught the imagination of St. Louis fans, pitching seems to be as big a priority for the Cardinals heading into the deadline.  The extent of these rotation help is yet to be determined, as Goold describes the Cards’ targets as “pitching depth on the edges of the roster,” while FanSided’s Robert Murray hears the team is looking for multiple starters, and “bigger, more meaningful upgrades than the J.A. Happ and Jon Lester additions from last season.”

To this end, the Cardinals have been prominently mentioned as suitors for Frankie Montas and Luis Castillo.  It isn’t hard to imagine that the Athletics and Reds each inquired about Gorman or other top St. Louis youngsters in those trade talks, given the high asking prices that will undoubtedly be required to land those top starters.

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