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Arizona Diamondbacks Trade Rumors: Nick Ahmed to the St. Louis Cardinals?

Though this is still just speculation, rumblings have been heard that NicK Ahmed could be on the list of potential replacements for Jhonny Peralta in St. Louis (H/T GuruB for his Fanshot).

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jhonny Peralta's thumb injury is expected to keep him out of action for much of the first half of the season, and the St. Louis Cardinals are looking for an everyday shortstop to fill the gap. A number of names have been floated as potent repacement. Writing in the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo calls Ahmed, "one shortstop the Cardinals have their eye on to replace the injured Jhonny Peralta. The Cardinals are just starting their search process outside the organization. They will really miss Peralta, who had some pretty big hits last season." It's not the first time Ahmed's name has cropped up in this way though.

From the Diamondbacks' point of view, it would help to unclog the middle-infield log-jam, which sees a bunch of right-handed batters, in Ahmed, Chris Owings, Jean Segura and Brandon Drury all potentially jostling for playing time. However, a couple of things mitigate against Ahmed being a good fit for St. Louis, not least that Peralta is under contract through the end of 2017, which would (presumably) relegate Ahmed back to a bench role when the injured player returns. However, he could provide them with a longer-term solution, if Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz, turns out to be a mirage.

In exchange, the Cardinals do have a good number of decent pitching prospects, although most of these look to be relatively low in the farm system, and the Diamondbacks may be looking for someone more in tune with the apparent "win now" philosophy currently being espoused. Peter Gammons also reckons that "Ahmed’s price is likely too high for a defensive-oriented Diamondbacks team to deal for anything less than a Weaver." [the #2 prospect on Sickels's list]. Indeed: by bWAR, Nick's glove helped make him more valuable than Peralta last season, by a margin of 2.5 to 1.8 wins. fWAR had them the same (1.7), though bear in mind, Peralta earned $15m.

I'd not be surprised to see Dave Stewart kicking the tires on this one, see how desperate they are in St. Louis. However, with our everyday line-up just about set, and the rotation as well, I've got a feeling the team would be best served by holding on to Ahmed. It seems to me that he would be unlikely to get as much in value returned from the Cardinals, as he would provide for the 2016 Diamondbacks. If this were a team that was in rebuilding mode, things might be different, but I suspect Ahmed will remain our Opening Day shortstop.