It’s that time of the year, folks. The MLB trade deadline is approaching, so I’ll look at five players the Cardinals should cut ties with or sell high on to help retool this team for 2024.
#5- Paul Dejong- shortstop
Looking at the middle infield depth currently, the Cardinals are rocking out with Tommy Edman (who’s on the IL now but should be back soon), Nolan Gorman, who’s playing average defense at second, super utility Brendan Donovan and Paul Dejong, who is the expendable one out of the group. Dejong has played himself into getting some trade stock with his above-average glove at shortstop and a solid .241 batting average with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs, which is a drastic improvement from his .157 batting average in 2022. With teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers needing some middle infield help, look no further than Paul Dejong.
#4- Jordan Hicks- Relief Pitcher
With how crazy the pitching market gets every year at the deadline, this is the time to send off Hicks to a new home. With usual closer Ryan Helsley being down with an injury, Hicks has grasped the closer role and has been pitching to a 3.52 ERA in the past 15 games of being in the closer role while racking up eight saves for a lackluster Cardinals team. Look for teams like the Orioles, Twins, or Rangers to go after the flamethrower righty to help out the back end of the pen.
#3- Jack Flaherty- Starting pitcher
It’s either me or every team that needs a starter or 2 to help them compete in the second half. Since that’s the case, Jacks got himself a market. He isn’t by any means having his best season pitching to a 4.27 ERA so far; however, in his last seven games, he’s thrown to a tune of a 3.54 ERA and a 4-1 record, raising his trade stock. He’s bound to go to a playoff contender like Arizona or Tampa Bay, who could use a younger arm in Jack.
#2- Jordan Montgomery- Starting Pitcher
Arguably the most obvious player who will be traded is our ace Jordan Montgomery who’s on a contract year and proving that he’s worth the money by pitching to a 3.14 ERA. Still, more importantly, he’s supporting a 1.47 ERA in his last seven games, along with a 4-0 record. Monty will get us the best haul, with him being one of the best starters available outside of someone like Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. Look for a World Series contender in the Rangers or Dodgers to go after him and hopefully give us a good haul for a rental.
#1- Dylan Carlson- Outfielder
As a DC supporter, this one hurts to the right, but the Cardinals front office has made it clear that he’s being shopped around with the return of Tyler O’Neill. Dylan hasn’t found any consistent playing time and only has a .243 batting average in less than 200 at-bats, but with someone with as many tools as him and at only 24, DC has all the potential in the world to be a star. With that said, I can see a team like the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Guardians trying to trade for him, which I believe would be a mistake by the front office, but one can only hope he will stay.
As disappointing of a season 2023 has been for the Cardinals, this trade deadline is vital to jumpstart the ship to contend in 2024. With that said, don’t mess this up; Mozeliak, make this team great again.