Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals

MLB insider: Cardinals make major strides in Frankie Montas trade talks

The St. Louis Cardinals are viewed by rival executives as the favorite to land Oakland Athletics ace Frankie Montas at the trade deadline.

Montas has been available since the offseason, but the A’s held out in hopes of receiving a larger prospect package at the deadline. That was a wise move by Oakland, especially with the number of starting pitchers injured around baseball.

Look no further than the Cardinals, who are without Jack Flaherty and lack the necessary depth to fill that void over the long haul.

ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney reported that ‘rival executives’ believe the Montas-Cards link is very real, and trending in the right direction.

Olney does make a good point, in that it’ll be far tougher for the Cardinals to land the likes of Luis Castillo or Tyler Mahle from the Reds given they reside in the same division. However, that old-school way of thinking could go by the wayside if St. Louis’ offer is strong enough.

Cardinals rumors: St. Louis the favorite for Frankie Montas?

Now, it’s important to note that ‘rival executives’ could have a bias of their own, and perhaps an ax to grind.

Per FanSided MLB Insider Robert Murray, it’ll still be tough for St. Louis to acquire Montas because of the likely return headed back the other way:

“But it is interesting nonetheless that rival executives believe this. Are they hearing something? Are they merely speculating? We don’t know. But I am still of the belief that acquiring Montas is unlikely for the Cardinals because 1) the absorbent asking price and 2) that Montas’ market will be extremely active and the front office has typically avoided getting into bidding wars.”

St. Louis made a number of small trades to bolster the rotation at last year’s deadline, acquiring the likes of Jon Lester and JA Happ. However, it’s easy to see that the needs are far more dire right now, especially with Flaherty out for awhile.

Montas would fill that need, at least momentarily, But is he worth the prospect haul?

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