Another club with a huge hole in center field, Harrison Bader would be a major upgrade over Myles Straw if the Guardians want to sneak into the postseason in 2022 or prepare for a run in 2023.
The first name the Cardinals should be calling about is Shane Bieber. Bieber has yet to regain his Cy Young form this year, and there are some concerns with his dip in velocity, so the Guardians may feel compelled to move off of the right hander for the right package. Bader, Burleson or Yepez, and a few prospects could compel the Guardians to upgrade both their offense and their farm system at the expense of their ace.
If the price is too high or the Guardians would like to wait on that sort of move, starters Zach Plesac, Cal Quantrill, and Triston McKenzie would all make terrific upgrades to the St. Louis rotation. The advantage of moving a guy like Bader is when a team values him, he lessens the level of prospects the club would need to part with, which will be critical for maintaining roster flexibility.