St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays

Cardinals have to be sick watching Randy Arozarena dominate

The St. Louis Cardinals must be kicking themselves after trading away Randy Arozarena

As Randy Arozarena stars for the Tampa Bay Rays, the St. Louis Cardinals must hate it.

Arozarena was yet another anonymous player on the 2020 Rays roster. They may have had the best record in the AL this year, but Kevin Cash‘s team certainly lacked star power outside of its starting pitching staff. Well, fate would have it Arozarena has emerged as one of the most spectacular players we’ve seen this postseason. How did the Cardinals not see this coming?

This has the chance to go down as one of the worst trades in Cardinals history

The Cuban slugger signed with the Cardinals organization back in July 2016. Arozarena spent the better part of the next three years in the Cardinals’ minor league system. He had a chance of making it to the big league roster earlier in 2019, but a broken hand suffered in spring training delayed his MLB debut until Aug. 12, 2019. He only played 19 games in St. Louis before the deal.

Arozarena played well in his brief big-league tenure with the Cardinals. He slashed .300/.391/.500 with his hits in 20 at-bats. We could see the star potential beginning to manifest in the final months of the 2019 MLB campaign for Arozarena. He would be traded to the Rays in a deal for left-hander Matthew Liberatore. Arozarena only played in 23 regular-season games in Tampa.

In his combined 42 games between the Cardinals and Rays, Arozarena is slashing .286/.384.607 with eight home runs and 13 runs batted in. As it turns out, he was only getting started this year. He has already hit 10 home runs this postseason and has become the face of this Rays offense trying to stay alive in its second-ever trip to the World Series. His great play may be here to stay.

Could Liberatore become something special for the Cardinals? Absolutely, but we are seeing the early returns on the Rays’ investment in Arozarena and it has been fantastic. The best part for the Rays is he won’t be arbitration eligible until 2023 or hit unrestricted free agency until 2026. This means his mid-to-late 20s will be spent entirely in Tampa Bay unless he is traded or something.

Arozarena is the most electrifying offensive player the Rays have had since Evan Longoria.

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