10 wildly different trade deadline deals the St. Louis Cardinals could pursue

There are many different routes the Cardinals can go at this year's trade deadline. Here are ten different packages that they could pursue.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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As the 2024 trade deadline nears, the St. Louis Cardinals are at a crossroads that will be critical for the rest of the season and possibly many years into the future. Whether they go all-in, patch the necessary holes, or sell off expiring assets, the Cardinals have a chance to define the future of this franchise for years to come.

John Mozeliak made it clear at the annual bloggers and podcasters event last weekend that the Cardinals do in fact intend to be buyers at the deadline, but a lot can change between now and July 30. The team could go on a run and contend for the NL Central crown, continue staying in the tight race for a Wild Card spot, or completely fall out of contention. But, as long as they stay in the race, the team intends to contend for a playoff spot and add to the Major League roster.

I discussed some potential trade packages, ranging from aggressive buying moves, smaller trades to add pieces, and even seller moves, with Josh Jacobs and Sandy McMillan on the Dealin' the Cards Podcast this past week, and here are the ten deals we constructed.

The ultra-aggressive buying move

St. Louis Cardinals receive Luis Robert Jr., Garrett Crochet, and John Brebbia. Chicago White Sox receive Jordan Walker, Tink Hence, Sem Robberse, and Victor Scott II.

Given Mozeliak's comments at Blogger Day and the club's history of deals at the deadline, it's highly unlikely that the Cardinals would go all in on a move like this, so the first deal is merely a hypothetical. While fans may want the team to be aggressive and go all in for a World Series title, it does not make sense for the Cardinals to go all in on a season like this barring a miraculous run between now and the trade deadline. The Major League team simply has too many holes and too weak a farm system to risk it all on a massive trade, nor will it happen.

In a major seller's market, a package involving the premier players on the trade block this season in Luis Robert Jr. and Garrett Crochet would cost significantly more than the Cardinals would be willing to part with. While Chicago claims to be asking for a package greater than what the San Diego Padres gave up in exchange for Josh Bell and Juan Soto in 2022, it's unlikely another team will meet that asking price. Nonetheless, the starting point for the Cardinals would be Jordan Walker and Tink Hence.

While Masyn Winn could also be involved in such a trade, it's far more likely unproven but high-upside talent like Sem Robberse and Victor Scott II will be dealt instead. If Winn were involved, the Cardinals would certainly be out of the running as St. Louis will not trade a Rookie of the Year candidate in the middle of a strong season.

All to say, the Cardinals will not be in play for the high-end pieces this deadline like Luis Robert Jr. nor should they. The upside they'd be giving up would be far too great for an injury-prone outfielder and a first-year starting pitcher. If the Cardinals pulled off this trade and failed to make a deep playoff run and the White Sox tapped into the vast potential of this prospect package, it could become one of the greatest trade failures in baseball history.