3 deals we're glad the Cardinals didn't make (and 3 we wish they had)

Rumors run wild at certain times of the year, such as the trade deadline and the winter meetings. Some of these rumors we wish happened, and some we are glad did not
Montas faces the Tigers in Oakland
Montas faces the Tigers in Oakland / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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We are glad they did not trade for Frankie Montas

In the middle of the 2022 season, it became obvious that the Cardinals needed to bolster their rotation. They were hanging around at the top of the Central but were having some trouble truly separating from the pack. Moreover, many feared that the rotation lacked depth. Jack Flaherty and Steven Matz were also unavailable, leaving the team on the search for serviceable starters to help replace some of the lost production. They eventually settled on Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery, two low-cost players.

Prior to making the aforementioned deals, they had been heavily linked to Oakland's Frankie Montas. Montas had been excellent with Oakland that season but was widely known to be dealing with some sort of shoulder injury. Some outlets predicted he'd be a Cardinal by the time the deadline passed, but ultimately it was the Yankees that offered Oakland the best return. New York also received right-handed reliever, Lou Trivino.

In exchange for Montas and Trivino, the Yankees sent over LHP Ken Waldichuk, RHP Luis Medina, LHP JP Sears, and 2B Cooper Bowman. Waldichuk, a top 100 prospect in baseball, ranked 5th on the Yankees' top 30 prospect list per MLB Pipeline. The others ranked 10th, 20th and 21st, respectively. For the Cardinals, this would look like Cooper Hjerpe, Michael McGreevy, Pete Hansen, and Jonathan Mejia.

That's a steep price to pay for one and a half years of control, even if that starter has ace potential. Unfortunately, Montas has been terrible as a Yankee. In just eight starts after the deadline in 2022, he pitched to an ERA of 6.35, averaging less than five innings per start. Montas then hit the shelf with the aforementioned shoulder issue and has yet to take the mound in 2023. Trivino, for what it's worth, was outstanding for the Yankees in 2022, but has also been unable to play for the entirety of 2023, and is currently on the 60-day IL.

This deal would have crippled the Cardinals and likely would have further thinned their already limited pitching depth. It also may have prevented them from acquiring Montgomery and Quintana. Thankfully, the Cardinals stuck to their low-cost options, a choice that benefited the organization in a major way.