The rumor mill is about to heat up, but these are the prospects the St. Louis Cardinals should not consider trading — unless it’s for Shane Bieber.
Max Scherzer. Shane Bieber. Jose Berrios. You name a starting pitcher, the St. Louis Cardinals have likely been connected to them in some manner.
Acquiring any of them will require a haul – at least one or two top prospects – which may give Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak pause. But unless it’s for Bieber, they absolutely should not part with Nolan Gorman or Matthew Liberatore. In fact, keeping them beyond July 30 should be among their top priorities in the next couple weeks.
For one, Gorman and Liberatore project as future stars. Gorman is likely to be at least a 30+ home run hitter while Liberatore appears primed to be atop the rotation and the young left-handed pitcher the Cardinals organization has long lacked.
Secondly, have the Cardinals really shown that they should go all-in on this season? They are in third place and under .500 while more than half of the rotation is on the injured list. They are among the most inconsistent teams in baseball and should look to build a sustainable winner, which should feature Gorman and Liberatore along with Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. And with that group, along with some of the other foundational pieces on the roster, they should have an extended window of playoff contention.
The Cardinals would also be wise to hold onto Jordan Walker, a third base prospect who has continued to draw private and public praise from members of the teams front office. But with Arenado at third long-term and Gorman sliding to second, Walker may not have a clear path to playing time — which could make him a valuable trade chip in the future when the team is more competitive.
For this season, the Cardinals should not consider trading Gorman or Liberatore. It would be a short sighted move that could have many long-term consequences.