Cardinals: Trade targets after signing Willson Contreras

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 09, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Lucas Giolito #27 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on September 09, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Pablo Lopez #49 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on October 02, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 02: Pablo Lopez #49 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on October 02, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Pablo Lopez

The Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez has been talked about as a potential target for the St. Louis Cardinals since the middle of the 2022 season, and there is still buzz around baseball that the Marlins would like to upgrade their offense with a Lopez trade.

According to a recent report, the Minnesota Twins are talking the the Marlins about Lopez right now, further indicating that the Marlins are open to moving him if they get the right offer. The Cardinals are a team that could use Lopez badly, and have the assets that Miami would want in return.

Lopez went 10-10 with a 3.75 ERA in 180 innings for Miami last year, and was a borderline All-Star in the first half with a 2.86 ERA across his first 104 innings of work. Two factors seemed to be working against the 26-year old in the second half of 2022. First, that was by far his career high in innings, so it is understandable that Lopez would be shaky the first time he his an innings count like that. Second, the Marlins fell apart in the second half, so one has to wonder how he’d fair on a contender all year long.

The right-hander has the stuff to be a front-line starter for St. Louis, and is under team control through the 2024 season, giving them another arm to rely on past 2023 with 4 of their 5 starters set to hit free agency. While Lopez is a tier below the true aces in today’s game, he can still lead a rotation. His presence would also help St. Louis to be patient with the development of guys like Tink Hence and Gordon Graceffo, who could be those future front-line guys for the Cardinals.

Names like Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar would be top of the list for Miami, so the Cardinals will have to think long and hard about their desire for him.

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