June 18, 2024

With the St. Louis Cardinals off to another shaky start, is a Jordan Walker trade on the table?

The teenager has been the target of trade rumors throughout his young career and could easily be considered one of the top young players in baseball right now. But, with St. Louis a likely seller, Cardinals trade rumors are already circulating, with Walker suggested as a trade piece.

Is Jordan Walker a Trade Chip for the Cardinals?

Top Prospect, Jordan Walker, Showcases his Super-Sized Potential on  Double-A Springfield Cardinals - Scoops Sports Network

 

The question is if St. Louis will actually deal him. Are the Cardinals better off keeping him? What would be his trade-market value? Which teams might be interested in dealing for him?

Let’s take a look at the details of a hypothetical Jordan Walker deal.

Time to Sell?

The question of dealing Walker boils down to whether the Cardinals are willing to give up on him. The former first-round choice still has a lot of potential, especially given that he was only 21 years old when the 2024 season began. Walker’s MLB stats, on the other hand, have been disappointing, especially in comparison to the outstanding numbers he generated in the minors.

When Walker joined the opening-day roster in 2023, some believed he’d have one of the best rookie seasons in history. Walker’s batting performance was competent but unspectacular.276 with 16 home runs and 19 doubles, for an OPS of.787. Most players would be looking to make a stride forward this year, but Walker fell flat on his face. In 20 games, he hit.155 with an OPS of.498, earning a return to the minors.

These findings have put into question whether Walker should still be held in such high regard. Perhaps he isn’t the valuable prospect the Cardinals previously believed he was. Will he be able to respond positively to his struggles this season? At the same time, Walker may still be a valuable trade asset due to his youth.

Trade Value?

What would Walker’s worth be if the Cardinals were to consider trading him? It’s certainly not as high as it was a few years ago, when he was considered one of baseball’s top ten prospects. Back then, most clubs would have pounced at the opportunity to get Walker, even if it meant giving up an established commodity.

However, Walker is no longer the gleaming prospect with limitless potential. Despite his youth and years of team management, his luster has faded. That’s what a.155 average and a demotion to the minors less than a month into the season do to a player, even a talented one. While Walker has hit for a high average, albeit with limited power, in triple-A this year, if the Cardinals want him to recoup any of his trade value, they must return him to the big leagues and hope he performs.

Trade Fits

Another reason the Cardinals might consider dealing Walker is to help plug voids in their organization. Specifically, the Cardinals lack young pitchers. The St. Louis rotation currently features pitchers on the wrong side of 30. Currently, just four of the team’s top ten prospects are pitchers. As a result, the Cardinals might utilize Walker as a trade chip to acquire young pitchers, potentially negotiating a deal with a team that lacks excellent young hitters.

The Mariners are an obvious candidate, with a strong rotation of young arms. Walker, on the other hand, is unlikely to land any of them on his own. The Padres, who have been aggressive in the trade market this season, have strong pitching in their farm system. They also want to win right now, something Walker may not be able to help them with.

The Pirates, St. Louis’ National League Central opponent, may be a perfect trade partner. Pittsburgh’s farm system is brimming with talented pitchers, even if trading for Paul Skenes or Jared Jones is unlikely. The Pirates are also a team that is still preparing for the future. They might be willing to use their excess of young pitching to take a gamble on a player like Walker. That does not imply a trade is imminent, but if the Cardinals chose to sell Walker, the Pirates are a possible destination.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *