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Inbox: Will Cards try to extend Lynn, Oh?

Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers fans' questions
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS --  While the on-field play hasn't been up to the organization's expectations, this year's Cardinals team hasn't been short on intrigue. That has kept my Inbox full of readers' questions.

Will the Cardinals try to sign Lance Lynn or Seung Hwan Oh before the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- David T., Perry, Mo.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. LOUIS --  While the on-field play hasn't been up to the organization's expectations, this year's Cardinals team hasn't been short on intrigue. That has kept my Inbox full of readers' questions.

Will the Cardinals try to sign Lance Lynn or Seung Hwan Oh before the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- David T., Perry, Mo.

View Full Game Coverage

As far as I know, conversations about an extension have not been opened with either player. In fact, the likelier move involving both players would be a midseason trade. If the Cardinals choose to start breaking down this roster, they could dangle Oh and/or Lynn to contenders who are looking for a pitching boost.

It seems unlikely that the Cards would heavily pursue either this offseason. Oh will turn 35 next month, and his second season in the Majors hasn't gone as smoothly as the first. His homer rate is up, his success against left-handed hitters is down and the slider hasn't proven to be reliable. Lynn has been a valued pitcher in this rotation for years, but with a collection of young arms nearing the Majors, the Cardinals likely won't want to commit the dollars necessary to keep him.

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Any ideas on the logic behind trading Matt Adams? It looks like the Cards should have traded Matt Carpenter instead.
-- John J., Indianapolis, Ind.

The trade was made because general manager John Mozeliak no longer saw Adams as a strong fit on this roster. The Cardinals were clearly not interested in moving Carpenter elsewhere on the infield to open more opportunities for Adams at first base, and Adams showed that he was not a viable defensive option in left field. His pinch-hit success was a bonus, but, to the Cardinals, not sufficient enough a reason to keep him around.

Whether that logic was flawed is up to you to decide. It's a small sample size, but Adams has had tremendous success since joining the Braves. It can be argued that the Cardinals sold too low on him, but it's also unknown whether he was ever going to produce like that here. The change of scenery, work with a new hitting coach or freedom to play without worrying if he'd be in the lineup the next day could all be factors behind the renaissance.

Given Michael Wacha's history of shoulder problems and his recent starts, are the Cardinals thinking about moving him to the bullpen?
-- Stephen S., Tulsa, Okla.

Have the Cards considered it? Yes. In fact, they toyed with this option before Wacha's start last week in Philadelphia. The Cardinals started Wacha again on Monday, and it appears that they'll evaluate his status on a start-by-start basis. The organization has also recently put Wacha through a battery of strength tests in order to determine whether any weakness is presenting itself in his shoulder. So far, Wacha has checked out fine medically.

But performance remains an issue. Wacha has finished five innings twice over his past seven starts, and he's been hit especially hard when going through a lineup for the second and third times. This, of course, could be eliminated in a relief role.

If the Cardinals do choose to make a change, they have several candidates -- Luke Weaver, Tyler Lyons, Marco Gonzales, Jack Flaherty and John Gant -- to consider as a rotation replacement.

Do you think there is a direct correlation between Jose Oquendo leaving the team as a coach before the 2016 season and the Cardinals being in the bottom half of the league in fielding percentage last year and this year? The previous seven years, the Cards were in the top 10 in fielding percentage almost every year. Any chance he comes back to help the team?
-- Bobby H., Santa Barbara, Calif.

To pin the team's defensive problems on the absence of Oquendo may be convenient, but it's not accurate. Would they be a better defensive club with him around? Perhaps. But he also isn't a miracle worker. The Cardinals had better defensive teams in the past because they had better defensive players. The defensive upside for players such as Carpenter and Aledmys Diaz is limited. Keep in mind, too, that these players entered both last season and this one after having worked with Oquendo all spring long.

Oquendo has no plans to rejoin the Cardinals' coaching staff. The organization gave him the option last year, but he asked for an opportunity to live year-round in his Florida home and work with players in the Minor League system. Oquendo loves to instruct, and he's found the perfect outlet to do so, even if it is away from the spotlight.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

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