The annual MLB trade exposition is open for business, and a variety of curious and coveted baseball talents will be on the move to new homes over the next two weeks. We expect the Cardinals to be among the busiest merchants, and for the right price president of baseball operations John Mozeliak is said to be willing to include his collection of gently used bow ties.

This is all well and good. We wish Mozeliak well in his efforts to ameliorate the St. Louis starting rotation and bullpen parts for 2024.

I draw the line at Nolan Gorman.

Well, the same goes for Brendan Donovan. But here and now, in my latest attempt at writing I want to focus on Gorman.

I’m opposed to trading Gorman for a bunch of reasons. Unless the Cardinals receive Shohei Ohtani in the deal and sign him to a $600 million contract extension, I’m out.

– Gorman is 23 and has mad power for a young slugger. Since the start of last season only Julio Rodriguez and Bobby Witt Jr. have launched more home runs than Gorman among hitters age 23 or younger. And that isn’t a fair accounting because Witt has 400 more plate appearances than Gorman over that time, and Rodriguez has 330 more PA than Gorman. Even as he develops, Gorman has homered every 17.5 at-bats in the bigs.

– Despite a horrendous performance in June, Gorman ranks second to Nolan Arenado among Cardinals in homers (19), RBI (61) and slugging percentage (.485.) Per wRC+, Gorman is 20 percent above league average offensively this season. He’s 23. He’s still in the process of figuring things out.

– In this, his second MLB season, Gorman is one of only 12 major-league hitters to have at least 19 home runs and 61 RBI as of July 19. The other 11 names on the list have an average age of 29.6 years. And Gorman is 23.

– Compared to his 2022 rookie season, Gorman has improved in many ways: average exit velocity, launch angle, hard-hit rate, slugging percentage, expected slugging percentage, batting average, expected batting average, wOBA, and expected wOBA. On the more basic stats, his strikeout rate (31%) is down, his walk rate (10.4%) is up. He’s also chasing fewer pitches and not swinging and missing as much as he did in 2022. And he’s 23.

– Gorman’s second-base defense is much better in season two. And you may be surprised to know that Gorman is one of the Cardinals’ best base runners. His extra bases taken rate of 57 percent is excellent. In fact, it ranks 18th among hundreds of MLB position players. And among Cardinals only Paul Goldschmidt has better baserunning metrics than Gorman. According to Bill James Online, Gorman is a +17 in baserunning gain, and + 20 overall when you include stolen bases. And he’s 23.

– Gorman already has hit five more homers and driven in 26 more runs than he did all of last season. His slugging percentage is up 65 points, his onbase percentage is up 22 points, his batting average is up 16 points, his wRC+ is up by 13 percent, his Isolated Power rate is up 48 points, and he’s homered every 15.6 at-bats …  better than his home-run ratio of 20.2 at-bats last season. And he’s 23.

– Gorman had 0.5 WAR last season and already has accrued 1.9 WAR in 2023. And did I mention that he’s 23 years old?

— Gorman doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his timely hitting. He’s very good under pressure, putting up a .275 average, .700 slug, .993 OPS, five doubles, four homers and 15 RBI in only 40 high-leverage at-bats. And he’s only 23.

– With runners in scoring position this season Gorman is batting .291 with a .341 OBP and .696 slug for a 1.037 OPS. He’s 70 percent above league average offensively (per wRC+) in RISP situations. And I should point out that he’s only 23.

– This season Gorman has struck for seven go-ahead homers and another that erased a two-run deficit. Pretty swell timing for a 23-year old.

Bernie! He can’t hit fastballs! Wrong. This season he’s slugging .548 against fastballs. Last season he slugged .348 against fastballs. I had one guy email me to inform me that Gorman only hits changeups for home runs and doesn’t show his power on fastballs. Wrong. This season Gorman has 12 homers on fastballs compared to five HRs on the hard pitches last season. He’s still trying to get a handle on off-speed stuff. Sliders can be trouble. But fastballs ain’t a problem for this 23-year old.

– When Gorman slumps … he REALLY slumps. It can be extreme, with huge strikeout rates and plenty of frustration. But let’s have some perspective, OK? He’s played nine months of major-league baseball. And when facing right-handed pitching – essentially his full-time assignment – this lefthanded power source has put up above-average offensively in six of those nine months. Only two of the months were really bad. I mean, seriously. What did you expect during his age 22 and age 23 seasons?

– Gorman is way ahead of where I thought he’d be at this stage of his early career. He was drafted as a raw power source, he improved during his minor-league journey, he’s rebounded from setbacks, and he’s shown unmistakable, statistical improvement in his sophomore MLB season.

If John Mozeliak succumbs to temptation and deals Gorman at the upcoming trade deadline, then we’ll know – for sure – that “Mo” is operating with impaired judgment. After getting burned by giving up on All-Star outfielders Randy Arozarena and Adolis Garcia, does Mozeliak really want to send Gorman away and watch him complete his growth as a fearsome slugger?

Mo, do you want to spend the next 10+ seasons watching Gorman smashing fastballs into light towers and having cackling broadcasters bring up your name and declare that you made yet another foolish mistake by trading him?

You don’t trade a 23-year-old with this kind of power, the maturity to adjust, and the determination to improve in all phases of the game including defense and baserunning. He’s a team player. There’s nothing selfish about him. Your fan base will love watching him for many years to come.

Just say no, Mo, to trading Gorman.

You can’t make this mistake again.

Thanks for reading …


Bernie hosts a weekday sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS-AM. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the show podcast at or the 590 app.

Please follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz

The “Seeing Red” podcast on the Cardinals, featuring Will Leitch and B. Miklasz is available at, the 590 the fan app or your preferred podcast platform. Follow @seeingredpod on Twitter for a direct link.

All stats used in my baseball columns are sourced from FanGraphs, Baseball Reference, Baseball Savant, Fielding Bible, Baseball Prospectus or Bill James Online.

Bernie Miklasz

Bernie Miklasz

For the last 35 years Bernie Miklasz has entertained, enlightened, and connected with generations of St. Louis sports fans.

While best known for his voice as the lead sports columnist at the Post-Dispatch for 26 years, Bernie has also written for The Athletic, Dallas Morning News and Baltimore News American. Bernie has hosted radio shows in St. Louis, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Bernie, his wife Kirsten and their cats reside in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis.