On the day of the trade deadline, Cardinals trade outfielder Tommy Pham to the Rays for three minor leaguers. Tommy Pham is someone who had a great year for the Cardinals last year, hitting over .300 with 23 home runs, 95 runs, and 25 stolen bases in just 128 games. He looked like a future star for the Cardinals. Some experts even picked him as a dark horse pick to make a run at the MVP. But this year, he’s hitting just .248 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs. So what happened to this drop in production?
Well to start the year, Pham was red hot, batting .341 in the first 25 games. However, he’s struggled with injuries, curbing his production. The Cardinals’ outfield is also jam packed, with new free agent Marcell Ozuna, second year free agent Dexter Fowler, and rising star Harrison Bader. But, with Pham coming off such a great year and conceivably still having a few good years left, you’d think they could get some good prospects right?
In the deal, they got three minor leaguers: Justin Williams, Genesis Cabrera, and Roel Ramirez. The three are all pretty young (22, 21, and 23 respectively). Williams was a former second round pick who’s hitting .258 with 8 home runs and 46 RBIs in Triple-A this year. Cabrera is 7-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 20 starts in Double-A. Ramirez is 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA between Single- and Double-A this year. While it would’ve been nice to see the Cardinals grab Chris Archer, who’s been the center of Rays’ trade talks, this deal works for the Cardinals. Pham had rejected the Cardinals 2 year $4 million offer this offseason so clearly St. Louis wasn’t in Pham’s future. With young outfielders like Harrison Bader, Tyler O’Neill, and now Williams on the roster, the Cardinals keeping an older Pham just didn’t make sense. With the Cardinals 7.5 games out of the NL Central, I would’t expect them to make many more moves, as they are right on the line of buyer vs seller. I expect them to role with what they have from here on out.
-Stephen Brown III (@sbtrey23)