Cardinals Linked to White Sox Duo of Crochet and Pham

The St. Louis Cardinals have won 8 of their last 11 games, pushing them back over .500 for the year. They’ve also emerged as more obvious buyers with the trade deadline a little more than a month away.

Despite their hot streak, St. Louis still has some holes to fill, and they could address two needs at once in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Bleacher Report’s Kerry Miller published a piece on Sunday, June 23 that tries to gauge whether teams will buy or sell at the deadline. He projects the Cardinals as “relatively aggressive buyers,” naming the outfield and starting rotation as two needs to address.

Chicago lefty Garrett Crochet will be one of the most sought-after starters on the market next month, and if the Cards can swing a deal for him, Miller suggests they could look at outfielder Tommy Pham as well.

“If they are in on Crochet,” Miller writes, “maybe a little ‘two birds, one stone’ action in which they get the White Sox to include outfielder-on-an-expiring-deal Tommy Pham in the trade.”

It could be the perfect combo for the Cardinals.

A Garrett Crochet Trade Would Especially Benefit the Cardinals

Any contending team would want a lefty starter who has amassed a 3.25 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 88.2 innings this season, but Garrett Crochet would be especially valuable for St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ rotation is both thin and old, with 34-year-old Sonny Gray the “kid” of the group. He’s also been their best pitcher, going 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA over 13 starts, taking a perfect game into the 7th inning against the Giants on Sunday. But behind him and Kyle Gibson, there’s not much to intimidate other teams.

Crochet would help the Cardinals this year and into the future, with two more years of club control. Gibson and Lance Lynn both have team options for next year, while Gray, Miles Mikolas, and Steven Matz are all under contract.

The rotation needs to get younger, and Crochet would be a great start. If not him, Miller also suggested Jesus Luzardo of the Miami Marlins, though Miami put him on the injured list Saturday. The Marlins expect him to miss 4-6 weeks.

St. Louis Could Reunite with Tommy Pham

Pham came up with the Cardinals in 2014 and could come back to town relatively cheap. Last offseason, he signed a 1-year, $3 million deal with the White Sox. For that price, he has performed well.

In 161 at bats, Pham is hitting .273 with a .740 OPS and 110 OPS+. He’s not exactly lighting the world on fire, but it is, at worst, on par with the rest of the Cardinals outfield. Even better, he’s a career .313 hitter in the postseason and is coming off a World Series appearance with the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he hit .421 with a 1.165 OPS.

That’s not to say Pham is happy with how he’s been playing. He told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times that, while he expects to be traded, he needs to step it up if that’s actually going to happen.

“But you know you have to play a little better to get traded,” he said. “You’re not going to get traded if you’re under-performing. I’m not playing to the best of my capabilities. But I’m close. I’m close to turning it around.”

For what it’s worth, Pham went 0-3 on Sunday.

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