6 starting pitchers the St. Louis Cardinals should consider via trade
By Greg Simons
The Los Angeles Angels signed Noah Syndergaard to a one-year, $21M deal with the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle, finally finding a top-notch free agent starting pitching to join a roster featuring Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and surging to the postseason.
Following nearly two full lost seasons, what Syndergaard has provided has been thorough adequacy. He’s made 12 starts, going 65-1/3 innings with 47 punchouts and 16 walks, and posted a decidedly middling 3.86 ERA. The Angels, meanwhile, have gone from an early-season darling to several games under .500 yet again, once more looking like a team that will waste the talents of the best player in the game over at least the last decade and a two-way star coming off an MVP season.
The Angels’ continued pain could be the Cardinals’ notable gain. While LA probably will give it a few more weeks to see how the team finishes July, if they’re not back to at least .500 by then, another reset could be coming. After all, the Angels can miss the playoffs with or without Syndergaard.
How would St. Louis benefit from this potential deal? Easy, they would get a No. 3 or No. 4 starter who has spent the first few months showing he’s well past his own Tommy John procedure, going seven-plus innings four times in his last nine starts. The Cards certainly could use someone like that to take the ball every fifth game. Or maybe they catch lightning in a bottle, and Thor is even better than expected.
The cost? Good question. He’s more expensive than Clevinger and hasn’t been as good, but he’s demonstrated greater durability this year. Maybe the Angels are interested in giving Paul DeJong a chance to fill their shortstop void. Of course, it would take more than that, so perhaps Jake Woodford could be the other piece of the puzzle.
The Cardinals have lots of options on the trade market. The question is, how aggressive do they want to be? Will they push hard for a title, or will they just bring in some middle reliever and spare position player to provide some depth? Maybe they’ll shock fans and do both. Probably not, but stranger things have happened. After all, it’s baseball, and sometimes you never know.