With the St. Louis Cardinals looking for help behind the plate and the Toronto Blue Jays needing to boost their outfield (especially from the left side of the plate), could a trade between the two squads help each other fill those needs?
Looking at a potential St. Louis Cardinals-Toronto Blue Jays trade
As our colleagues at FanSided.com’s MLB site point out here, there is plenty of synergy surrounding a catcher-for-outfielder swap between the Cardinals and Blue Jays. However, which catcher and which outfielder might be part of the package is where a little more digging might be needed.
Among the possibilities is a trade sending catcher Danny Jansen to the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Lars Nootbar. The 27-year-old Jansen is coming off a season where he posted 2.9 bWAR and he is under team control through 2024. Nootbar, meanwhile, hits from the left side of the plate (something the Blue Jays have been trying to find in an outfielder) and is under team control through the 2027 season. He’s coming off a 2.2 bWAR campaign.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi talked more about a potential Jansen-Nootbar deal in the video below.
Jansen would certainly fill the void left over by the retirement of Yadier Molina, and his 15 home runs would have been the fourth-highest for the Cardinals last season behind MVP winner Paul Goldschmidt, MVP third-place finisher Nolan Arenado, and 700-career home run member Albert Pujols (also now retired).
It also would have been one more than Nootbar hit last season in 108 games, but there is more to the 25-year-old Nootbar than what he brings on the field. He is also extremely close to Arenado (who just turned down the opt-out clause in his contract to stay in St. Louis at his original salary) and has been praised by Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol as being someone who is “great for the clubhouse.”
Would the Cardinals part ways with Nootbar if it meant finding a dependable catcher? Toronto is loaded at the position, with Alejandro Kirk earning an All-Star bid and Silver Slugger last season, so the Blue Jays are expected to use their surplus as a trade chip. Does it make sense to swap with St. Louis?
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have options in the outfield, including top prospect Jordan Walker who was described by St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak as “the biggest wild card” and pursuing help in free agency as well.
Jansen is projected to make $3.7 million in 2023 while Nootbar isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2025.
On the surface, a Jansen-for-Nootbar trade would make sense for both sides, but may require some other minor pieces in order to make it happen. What do you think? Would you make this trade if you were the Cardinals or Blue Jays? Let us know in the comments section below.