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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The selling moves

These moves were created prior to the Cardinals owning a playoff spot, but it should go without saying that the Cardinals would not sell if they were in possession of a wild card spot at the trade deadline. However, if they fall out of that spot with the tight competition in the National League, it may be prudent to move off some expensive or expiring assets to reload for the future.

St. Louis Cardinals receive Chris Taylor, Dustin May, and Kyle Hurt. Los Angeles Dodgers receive Nolan Arenado and Andrew Kittredge.

A Nolan Arenado trade would've been completely off the table just last year, but his production has completely regressed so far in the 2024 season. His 2023 was a far cry from his 3rd place MVP finish the year prior, but he was still an above-league-average hitter with solid defense. Now, his offense has fallen even further and his glove is not what it used to be. With a massive contract, it may be time for the Cardinals to move on from Arenado while he still has some value.

Arenado's no-trade clause means he won't accept a trade to just anywhere but he's expressed interest in playing for his hometown Dodgers in the past, and there's a clear fit in Los Angeles. With an oblique injury to Max Muncy taking longer to heal than expected, and Mookie Betts on the shelf for 6-8 weeks with a broken hand, Arenado will sure up the Dodgers' infield depth significantly.

Unfortunately, with the little trade value Arenado has, he won't be able to get much of a haul in return. In order to offload his salary entirely, the Cardinals will need to take on the final year of Chris Taylor's $13 million per year contract. Taylor has been nearly unplayable for the Dodgers this year but could lengthen the Cardinals' bench with a veteran presence in 2024. The once highly touted Dustin May only has one year left on his contract and has seen his career derailed by a variety of arm injuries. He could be a key piece in the Cardinals' rotation should they hope to contend in 2025, but his upside is limited at this point.

26-year-old pitching prospect Kyle Hurt would be the most intriguing piece in this trade as the 5th-ranked prospect in the Dodgers system, but his potential is ultimately quite limited. Even so, the Cardinals will need to include veteran righty Andrew Kittredge to complete this trade. The Dodgers will be looking to bolster their bullpen and Arenado's value has likely hit rock bottom.

However, it may be the best time to trade Nolan Arenado as they can spend his massive salary elsewhere moving forward. Perhaps they can land a bigger free agent on the market or retain one of their budding stars Lars Nootbaar, Nolan Gorman, or Brendan Donovan on a team-friendly extension. Either way, if the Cardinals go this route, meaning Arenado won't be part of their future plans, they should move off his contract as soon as possible, settling for any package that doesn't involve sending the recipient significant cash.