The Saint Louis Cardinals are currently in third place in the NL Central with a 49-50 record. It has certainly been a disappointing season thus far and being nine games behind does not help their playoff chances. The Cards will most likely trade a few players with short-term contracts, not including the star players.
The team will look for prospects who can help them in the future. Keep in mind, the division rivals, Chicago Cubs, are also sellers. The Cubs are positioned to have a longer rebuild as their stars are on the trading block. In addition, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez did not sign extensions, which gives the Cardinals a better chance to recapture the NL Central Division title.
THE CARDINALS ACQUIRE T.J. ZEUCH FROM THE BLUE JAYS
The Saint Louis Cardinals’ starting rotation has dealt with a lot of injuries this season as Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Carlos Martinez, and Dakota Hudson are on the IL. The front office has been monitoring the waiver market as the team is looking for pieces that can help them push through the season.
The Cards already picked up T.J. McFarland and Justin Miller from the Washington Nationals. The Cardinals also picked up T.J. Zeuch from the waiver wire as they had an open spot on the 40-man roster as the team lost Roel Ramirez off waivers to the New York Mets.
The Toronto Blue Jays will go for it as they are just four games behind the Oakland Athletics from securing the second Wildcard spot. Zeuch also struggled this season and wasn’t a part of the Blue Jays’ playoff plans. However, T.J. Zeuch is just 25 years old and was a popular target as he was recently designated for assignment.
WHAT DOES ZEUCH PROVIDE FOR THE BLUE JAYS
T.J. Zeuch has been up in the majors since 2019, and has 49.0 innings under his belt, and has started seven games in the last three years. He was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of William Mason HS in Mason Ohio. However, Zeuch decided to commit to the University of Pittsburgh to bring his draft stock up.
He did just that as he was selected in the first round, 21st pick, by the Blue Jays in the 2016 draft. He may have struggled in his limited appearances with the Blue Jays with an 0-2 record, 6.60 ERA, 15.0 innings pitched, and a 2.00 WHIP. However, he could provide what the Saint Louis Cardinals need now, and beyond.
Zeuch will be able to provide the Cardinals with some much-needed innings out by starting on the mound, and also be a long-man out of the bullpen. He could be a valuable player in the long run as he was selected in the first round. He could also mitigate the threat of a long ball as he is a ground ball pitcher.
Zeuch only has 0.058 years of Major League experience and is arbitration-eligible in 2024. If he can use his momentum and work on his control, he could be a very good and cheap asset for the team. Zeuch also has two minor league options remaining and isn’t set to hit free agency until 2027.
Players on the waiver wire have proven to be an asset for a lot of teams in the trade market and playoff run. For example, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and Chris Taylor were a big part of the Los Angeles Dodgers playoff run and were able to help the team win a World Series in 2020. The Cardinals may have gotten a steal in T.J. Zeuch.