Earlier this week, our own Ben Remis laid out the case for why Shohei Ohtani would be an excellent trade candidate for the Cardinals. Not only does Ohtani give St. Louis that third, powerful bat that they desperately need, but he can also be the ace caliber pitcher than they lack.
Ohtani will find himself in both the Cy Young and MVP conversation during award season after going 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 166 innings of work for the Angels on top of his .273/.356/.519 slash line with 34 HR and 95 RBI. Ohtani is the only player in baseball you can acquire who fills a club’s two most valuable needs in one player.
Focusing on the pitching side, Ohtani’s 219 SO in just 166 innings is the kind of pitcher St. Louis lacks. They ranked last in all of baseball in strikeouts amongst their staff this season, and although a lot of that was by design, no true contender can win in October without some guys who can create swings and misses consistently.
Ohtani will surely require a historic package, much like the one Juan Soto commanded this season, but it’s hard to measure just how much of an impact he could make on the Cardinals. He immediately upgrades their rotation to one that can matchup with most in baseball, and then gives them easily the best trio of hitters in today’s game. If the Cardinals want to win the World Series in 2023, this is the best way to do that.