Pro #2 – The Cardinals can then trade a starter for prospects or big league talent
One of the smartest ways to build a roster is by signing players and then capitalizing on the value on any current players that are now expendable. The Cardinals could fill their biggest need by signing Rodon, and then cashing in on the value of one of their other starters to strengthen their farm system or bolster another area of their roster.
You may think that would be odd, but it actually seems like a pretty likely outcome if the Cardinals were to sign Rodon. The prime candidate for this kind of trade would be Jordan Montgomery, as he is set to make $10 million this year (so they can shed some salary) and likely holds more value than a Miles Mikolas would. The Cardinals will not be trading Adam Wainwright or Jack Flaherty, and Steven Matz is the only current starter they have control over after 2023.
If the Cardinals sign Rodon and flip Montgomery, they’d still have a rotation of Rodon, Flaherty, Mikolas, Wainwright, and Matz, which is significantly better than the one they have now. If injuries happen, they can trade for starters during the season, which they have been very successful at in recent seasons.
Montgomery could be the guy that nets the Cardinals a few relievers to strengthen their bullpen, or even another bat for their lineup. They may be able to get a “lesser” starter who is under team control for longer than Montgomery, giving them another option for 2024 and beyond. Or, the club could get back a few prospects, giving them more ammunition for upcoming trades to improve the roster, or just young talent to look forward to as many of their best are starting to hit the big leagues.
This is not being talked about much, but is a major pro of any Rodon signing. Bringing in the left-hander could lead to a move that is unexpected right now, but would make all of the sense in the world with Rodon on the roster.