With first baseman Matt Adams out at least 3-4 months, the St. Louis Cardinals are in need of a first baseman. The obvious solution seems to be a trade for Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard, though that may not be the best idea.
The best route for the Cardinals is likely to not panic and look at some non-Howard options that are not 35 years old and owed $50 million. Here are a few of them:
The easiest option to replace Adams is an internal one in veteran Mark Reynolds. The 31-year-old has hit .253/.321/.404 in 99 at bats in his first season as a Cardinal and has more than 2,800 career innings under his belt at first base.
He has hit .230/.324/.456 in his nine-year career, with 227 home runs. In addition to already being on the roster and having a track record of success at the big league level, Reynolds, like Adams, is a left-handed bat with power.
The Cardinals' top hitting prospect according to Minor League Ball, Piscotty has primarily played right field in the minors, but played third base at Stanford and could be moved back to the infield given St. Louis' crowded outfield situation.
The 24-year-old is hitting .235/.337/.463 at Triple-A Memphis and is probably the best internal option aside from Reynolds.
The 28-year-old switch hitter is hitting .258/.352/.435 in his first season for the struggling Blue Jays and could likely be had fairly cheaply in a trade if Toronto decides to sell at the deadline.
He has hit .225/.310/.382 for his career and hit 19 and 20 home runs in the two seasons in which he had at least 500 plate appearances in 2012 and 2013 with Seattle. Another plus, he is making just $1 million this season and is a free agent after 2015.
Another option, albeit one that would require a trade within the division, is Brewers first baseman Adam Lind. Lind is in his first season with Milwaukee, a team that will almost certainly sell at the deadline, and is hitting .261/.349/.471 with seven home runs.
In his 10-year career, nine of which came with Toronto, the lefty has hit .273/.328/.471 with four seasons of at least 23 home runs. He would be rather expensive financially, as he is making $7.5 million this season and has an $8 million team option for 2016 with a $500,000 buyout, though that probably lessens the prospect cost required to acquire him.
Though he is currently on the disabled list with a strained neck and concussion symptoms, Morneau could be the most talented option for the Cardinals if he is healthy. The 2014 National League batting champion is hitting .290/.317/.450 for the Rockies this season.
He will likely be available at the trade deadline, seeing as the Rockies discussed trading him in the offseason and are struggling currently. He is making $6.75 million this season and has a $750,000 buyout of a $9 million team option in 2016.