St. Louis Cardinals
Much like the Tigers, the Redbirds have had to deal with a ton of injuries this year, especially to their starting rotation. Jack Flaherty has only made three starts this season, and the free agent acquisition of Steven Matz hasn’t worked out. Things got so bad that they tried out hard-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks in the rotation. That went about as well as you’d expect it to.
Their bullpen—ranked 10th in MLB in ERA—has been solid, but as the old saying goes, you can never have too much pitching. What’s the best solution to a bad rotation? A shutdown bullpen.
Fortunately for the Detroit Tigers, the Cardinals always seem to have a stacked farm system, and this year is no exception. Their top prospect is third baseman Jordan Walker, a 20-year-old who has already reached Double-A. While even a deal for Gregory Soto would seems unlikely to bring a return that would include Walker, they still have plenty of other prospects to choose from.
Catcher Ivan Herrera would be nice, but he’s probably their heir apparent to Yadier Molina, so he seems unlikely to be dealt. Shortstop Masyn Wynn is a fun player who’s had a solid year between High-A and Double-A, and recently made highlight reels everywhere for showing off his wicked arm strength at the Futures game.
Outfielder Alec Burleson has a .936 OPS with Triple-A Memphis this year, and could get potentially get a cup of coffee in September. With St. Louis’ outfield of Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson, and Tyler O’Neill, it seems as if he’s blocked.
First baseman Luken Baker had some hype around him coming into this year. At 6-4, 280 lbs, he’s a large human being with a ton of raw pop. Unfortunately, he’s struggled mightily in Triple-A this year. Despite 15 homers, he’s got an OPS of just .688. At 25 years old, it’s worth wondering how much of a prospect he really is now. Still, given the Tigers current issues at first base, he may not be too hard to get in a trade now that he’s lost some value.
The Cardinals need starting pitching in the worst way, and have been rumored to be heavily interested in Oakland’s Frankie Montas. There isn’t a ton of starting pitching available on this year’s market besides him and Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, who are in the same division as St. Louis, so they may have to settle for some bullpen help as a fallback option.