St. Louis Cardinals: Four darkhorse candidates to be traded this winter

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Harrison Bader #48, Harrison Bader #47, and Tommy Edman #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 in game two of a doubleheader at Miller Park on September 14, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Harrison Bader #48, Harrison Bader #47, and Tommy Edman #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after beating the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 in game two of a doubleheader at Miller Park on September 14, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 15: Starting pitcher Jake Woodford #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 15: Starting pitcher Jake Woodford #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 15, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Jake Woodford

Jake Woodford is a very interesting player. Just last season, Woodford was the 13th prospect in the Cardinal organization. He was the 39th overall pick by the team in 2015 and has advanced steadily through the minor leagues. He gave up 13 runs in 21 innings out of the bullpen last season, but he continued to show a lot of promise and potential.

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Why trade a player like this? It seems exactly like the pitching version of a fellow named Randy Arozarena (I maintain that it is too early to judge this deal. In Matthew Liberatore we trust). Well, the reason is that there is unfortunately no spot for Jake Woodford on this team.

He is blocked in the current rotation by Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, KK, Daniel Ponce de Leon, and Austin Gomber. Alex Reyes, Genesis Cabrera, and even Ryan Helsley would probably get shots before him, as well. And in the future rotation, you have Matthew Liberatore, Zack Thompson, and many, many more– not to mention Dakota Hudson who comes back in 2022.

Woodford’s spot on this Cardinal team would be as a long reliever, and simply put he looks better than that. If teams come calling about trading for one of the talented young Cardinal pitching prospects, Woodford would be the one sent first. He is a young player with potential, and hopefully that could be flipped for good value.

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