St. Louis Cardinals Acquire Jason Heyward


Sep 15, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) reacts after he flies out in the ninth inning of their game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. The Nationals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis are serious about getting better on offense and proved it with the best and biggest trade in the early stages of the offseason after dealing promising young starter Shelby Miller and a minor leaguer to the Atlanta Braves for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden.

Heyward is a very polarizing player because he came into MLB as one of the best young prospects ever in the Braves’ organization. He started his career on a high-note with a first at-bat homer but fell off drastically afterward. Heyward did provide more offense early during the 2014 season, but the Braves could not get anything together and did not post a winning record for the first time since 2008.

While Heyward has never come close to living up to the hype, the Cardinals organization has a knack for getting the most out of players. Heyward has the talent to be one of the better players in the league as he posted a 5.1 WAR according to FanGraphs. He is also one of the premier defensive outfielders in the league (17.1 dWAR).

So, the Cardinals clearly are paying attention to what their division rivals Pittsburgh Pirates have been doing with their acquisitions of Francisco Cervelli and A.J. Burnett. The Pirates may not have necessarily forced the Cards to react, but clearly the race is on in the N.L. Central to drastically improve.

The Cardinals will look a lot different with Heyward in the lineup. He is still a very good player and he is only 25-years-old. There is definitely tons of room for the outfielder to improve and sometime a change of scenery is the best thing that can happen to a player.

The Cardinals are traditionally one of the best offseason teams and this trade is nothing out of the ordinary. Sometimes it is a move the team does not make that works, but this seems like a necessary transaction. The Cardinals should be scared of the Pirates and even the Chicago Cubs could be real contenders in 2015.

No matter the case, the Pirates now know they cannot stand pat and fans all over the league should expect more and more fireworks from the Bucs and the other N.L. Central teams.