St. Louis Cardinals fans with a minor league bent got nervous Tuesday when a Ken Rosenthal-sourced MLB trade rumor included Tyrell Jenkins, one of their clutch of top pitching prospects, in a possible trade with the Seattle Mariners. The real concern is more Rosenthal's speculation--that the Cardinals would be interested in Mariners left-hander Jason Vargas--than his reporting, that the Mariners scouted Jenkins.
Vargas, 29, is 9-7, but his peripherals are unimpressive; his strikeout rate is below six per nine innings, and he's somehow allowed 1.2 home runs per nine innings in four years at the Mariners' cavernous Safeco Field. Jenkins, 19, is raw, but progressing at a solid clip; already in the Midwest League at 19, Jenkins has flashed a strikeout an inning while showing solid control for a teenager. He was drafted as a supplemental first-rounder back in 2010, with the Cardinals pursuing him aggressively and signing him away from a college football commitment.
In short: He's the kind of pitcher you might trade for short-term help, but he's not the kind of pitcher you might trade for Jason Vargas. John Mozeliak's closeness to the player-development side of the Cardinals has me thinking, at this juncture, that the connection is more likely to be Rosenthal's mistake than the Cardinals'.