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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St. Louis Cardinals receive Heston Kjerstad and Connor Norby. Baltimore Orioles receive Ryan Helsley.

Here's a move the Cardinals may even consider if they're in contention at the trade deadline. Ryan Helsley's value may be more to an elite World Series contender like the Orioles than a fringe team like the Cardinals. With the volatility of relievers and the increase in arm injuries to high-velocity pitchers like Helsley, it may be best to capitalize on the value of an All-Star closer like Helsley rather than risk getting nothing for him with only one year left on his deal. It's unlikely the Cardinals would extend Helsley to a Diaz/Hader-type contract, so 2025 is probably the end of the line for Helsley in St. Louis, regardless.

However, a contending Cardinals team would need to be blown away to deal their closer. After getting a front-row seat to the Josh Hader deal backfiring for the contending Brewers in 2022, the Cardinals must navigate a Helsley deal carefully if they're in contention at the deadline. Only a deal involving a top-25 prospect like Kjerstad or similar value should prompt the Cardinals to move on. Then, they must acquire more bullpen help from elsewhere, as the Arizona Diamondbacks did last season after moving on from Andrew Chafin and trading for Paul Sewald.

A team like the Orioles, desperate to go all-in and just missing a lights-out closer, may pull the trigger on the deal. It's obviously an overpay, but the precedent for such a move has been set, as the Chicago Cubs gave up Gleyber Torres and many other promising pieces to the Yankees for just one playoff run. The added year of control for Ryan Helsley should make him an even more enticing piece for interested parties. With Corbin Burnes hitting free agency at the end of the season and a wealth of Minor League talent, the Orioles seem like the perfect fit to go all-in on Ryan Helsley.