St. Louis Cardinals: Want young talent? Mo is the man to call

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 15: Luke Voit #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrators after scoring on an error in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 15, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 15: Luke Voit #40 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrators after scoring on an error in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on July 15, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak has a knack for trades that make other teams better.

John Mozeliak’s phone must be blowing up right now with rival GMs itching to get in on the St. Louis Cardinals’ gravy train. It’s easy to imagine the following conversation:

GM: Hey Mo, let’s make a deal! You got any more Randy Arozarena types you wanna get rid of? We sure could use a 25-year-old outfielder to set postseason hitting records and lead us to the World Series.

MO: Hey, gimme a break, the Tampa Rays just got lucky. We got a kid lefty in that deal, Matthew Liberatore who’s gonna set the world on fire. It’s not like we traded a future home-run king for a couple of relievers.

GM: Yeah, about that, why didn’t you give me a ring before shipping Luke Voit to the Yankees for Giovanny Gallegos and Chasen Shreve? I would’ve given you three relievers and a Voit soccer ball for that guy. All he’s done is hit 57 homers with 147 RBIs and a .915 OPS in 213 games since you let him go.

MO: The Yankees just got lucky. Voit didn’t look like anything special when we had him, plus Gallegos is a darn good reliever.

GM: OK, Let’s try this. I’ll ship you an outfielder who will give you a couple of so-so seasons before signing with someone else. All I ask in return is four prospects, including a couple of pitchers who are gonna be quite good in a very short time.

MO: I like the sound of that! It reminds me of the 2017 deal where I got Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins and it only cost me minor league pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen plus two others. Did you see that Ozuna led the NL in home runs, RBIs and total bases this season? Not bad, huh?

GM: Yeah, but he did it for the Atlanta Braves. And Alcantra and Gallen have a combined 9.1 WAR since you traded them.

Mo: Yeah, well, you know what they say about pitching. You never want too much of it.

GM: I think the expression is, you can never have TOO MUCH pitching.

MO: Really? Huh. Then maybe I shouldn’t have traded Marco Gonzales to the Mariners for Tyler O’Neill. And Mike Leake to the Mariners for a career minor leaguer. And maybe I shouldn’t have let Lance Lynn leave through free agency.

GM: No, no, those were great moves … for the other teams. And you did trade Jedd Gyorko for that Dodgers pitcher last year. How’d that work out?

MO: Fantastic! Tony Cingrani never pitched an inning for us, and he’s out of baseball, but you can’t have everything. Besides, Gyorko was all washed up. Whatever happened to him?

GM: He played for the Brewers this past year and had an .838 OPS, which was higher than all of your Cardinals starters, except for Paul Goldschmidt.

MO: Goldy! Now that was a heckuva trade. I sent the Diamondbacks a young catcher and a young pitcher and both of those guys, Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver, bottomed out in 2020. So who won that one? I won that one! As long as Kelly and Weaver don’t return to their 2019 form, when they were darn good players.

GM: I take it you won’t trade Goldschmidt?

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MO: No! Who do you think I am? Goldy is the ultimate Cardinal and a cornerstone of our franchise. Trading him would be like trading one of my kidneys. Forget it!

GM: What if I offered you a reliever or two?

MO: Really? You’d do that? Then we’ve got a deal! Wait, are the relievers any good?

GM: They’re not terrible. As far as I know.

MO: I love it! Anything else you want? I’ve got a good second baseman, Kolten Wong. Make a low-ball offer, I’m listening. I got a gifted young pitcher, Jack Flaherty, coming off an off-year, the perfect time to trade him. I got kids in the minors, take your pick, any offer is a good offer. I got —

GM: I’m all ears, Mo. And let me tell you, in case I forget my manners later, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.

Next. Bringing Jeff Albert back Highlights Complacency. dark

Of course, this conversation is fictional, but all we can hope is that this is NOT how John Mozeliak’s conversations go this winter.

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