John Mozeliak has a game plan going into the 2023 off-season: Get pitching. But anything can happen in baseball. Many transactions have built up hype and development, while some happen in silence with no notice. The St. Louis Cardinals rarely sniffed at these types of deals in the past, but they have capitalized at the right time. The Nolan Arenado trade showed that ownership is committed to putting a winning product on the field and wants to keep it that way. If the opportunity presents itself, the Cardinals are well prepared to make a blockbuster move this winter. Today let's look at 3 potential blockbuster trades the St. Louis Cardinals can execute.
Soto was a player who had ultimate trade speculation hype when the Washington Nationals traded him to the San Diego Padres. At that time, the Cardinals were rumored to be the primary trade fit with Washington. The Cardinals have a plethora of position player depth and cost-controllable players. The breaking point was the Nationals wanted too many of the top prospects the Cardinals were not willing to lose. These players could have included Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Brendan Donovan, Dylan Carlson, Nolan Gorman, or Lars Nootbaar. The Nationals pivoted and landed a hefty prospect haul from San Diego. With the landscape changing and the Padres having serious clubhouse troubles, they need to reevaluate their roster. Soto is a pending FA in 2024 and is already rumored to be in trade discussions. Do the Cardinals see if they can land Soto this time with a more desperate team for change?
Any fan in baseball can agree with this statement: GET MIKE TROUT OUT OF ANAHEIM! 2024 will be season 14 for Mike Trout, and he has appeared in only one postseason...one!!! The Angels continue to fail year after year in new embarrassing ways. The organization is due for a sale to new ownership and a complete organization restart. Shohei Ohtani is leaving this off-season and the organization will be set back for years to come. It is finally time for them to sit down with Trout and ask what he wants. It is known Trout wants to win a World Series, and he got a small glimpse of what that feeling is like during the WBC. With 9 seasons as a teammate to Cardinals legend Albert Pujols, maybe Pujols can talk Trout into wanting to come to St. Louis to create a new MV3 with Goldschmidt and Arenado.
The Brewers have an implosion on the horizon. President of Baseball Operations David Sterans has left his small market micromanaging to join the Steve Cohen empire. The Mets are retooling their organization to become self-sustaining for years to come under the helm of one of the better executives in baseball. The Brewers have to find a new leader to keep their successful model of simply winning the minimum needed to win a weak NL Central. To make matters worse, star pitcher Corbin Burnes was majorly disrespected during his arbitration hearing after winning the 2021 NL Cy Young award.
With broken trust and a new POBO, Burnes will be looking forward to reaching FA so he can get away from the toxicity. Maybe the new POBO plays it safe and taps into the division rival knowing they have many young players who show they can fill roster depth and are cost controllable. The Brewers are in the driver's seat with the Cardinals being desperate for an ace. Or is Milwaukee the desperate one with Burnes not wanting to be there?