Don’t expect the St. Louis Cardinals to make any significant trades before the regular season, according to a report from The Athletic.
While the St. Louis Cardinals are going to pursue upgrades after the lockout, they will be selective about it.
They will not be in on Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Kyle Schwarber or Nelson Cruz. They will add one, and likely two, relief pitchers. They will attempt to add another starting pitcher, though more of a complementary piece rather than another pitcher like Steven Matz who was signed to a four-year, $44 million contract. And they will look at rounding out their infield depth, with Colin Moran emerging as a strong free-agent possibility.
Just don’t expect the Cardinals to make any significant trades. As Katie Woo of The Athletic outlines, a major trade – at least right now – does not appear to be in the cards. There is a possibility that changes around the trade deadline, whenever that may be, if the right opportunity presents itself.
But any major trade right now would require the Cardinals to part with Nolan Gorman, Jordan Walker or Matthew Liberatore. They have zero interest in doing that, with people inside the organization bullish on what Gorman and Liberatore can provide on the major-league roster in 2022. Gorman, of course, is going to debut as a second baseman while Liberatore will pitch primarily out of the bullpen before shifting to the rotation in 2023.
That’s if all goes to plan, though there is no reason to believe that it won’t. But the expectations for what the Cardinals do the rest of the offseason should be tamed, as their biggest addition will come in the bullpen, with Ryan Tepera and Joe Kelly emerging as their two highest-profile targets. Both will require multi-year contracts in the $6-9 million per season range, though signing Tepera over Kelly would give the Cardinals a better chance to add a meaningful second reliever to truly shore up the bullpen.
Not adding a significant piece before the regular season does not mean the offseason was a failure. It may not be exciting, either, but it gives them the flexibility during the regular season that president of baseball operations John Mozeliak craves.