3 trades the Cardinals could make for a Marlins' starting pitcher

Derrick Goold has stated that St. Louis has explored trades for a Miami Marlins' starting pitcher, and recent reports indicate that Miami might trade one. Which pitcher should the Cardinals prioritize?

Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One
Wild Card Series - Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Jesus Luzardo

In a recent poll I posted on Twitter/X, Cardinals fans chose Jesus Luzardo as their preferred pitching target, and I would have to agree with those fans.

Luzardo is the most consistent and most dominant starter for the Marlins after Sandy Alcantara's injury. Last year was Luzardo's breakout year. He pitched 178.2 innings with a 3.58 ERA, 3.55 FIP, 1.215 WHIP, and he had a 3.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Cabrera surpassed the 200-strikeout mark, and he maintained a modest walk rate of 7.4%. He would immediately slot in as the #1 or #2 pitcher for the Cardinals depending on how they view Sonny Gray.

Luzardo still has three more years of team control, and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $5.9 million through arbitration. Luzardo's recent success would increase his trade value, but he doesn't come with as much control as Edward Cabrera. Given Alcantara's Tommy John Surgery, Eury Perez's innings limit, Braxton Garrett's lack of experience, and the uncertainty between Edward Cabrera and Trevor Rogers, the Marlins may be apt to hold on to their most certain starting pitcher.

On the flip side, Luzardo would net quite the return for the Miami Marlins. They need a shortstop, and they could use a pitcher in addition to infield help. While the shortstop would ideally have some pop to him, especially given the on-base machine that is Luis Arraez, Miami is probably also asking for a player with strong defensive tendencies. They would like a pitcher with a healthy track record and a relatively high ceiling.

St. Louis could draw a player from a variety of locations to make this trade happen. They could swap Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, Masyn Winn, Victor Scott II, Matthew Liberatore, or Gordon Graceffo in this deal. The combination of players is key here. If St. Louis gives up a player with less team control, they'll have to include a higher-end pitcher. If they give up a position player with lots of team control, perhaps they could skate by with a starting pitching prospect with less certainty.

Trade 1:
Miami receives CF/SS Tommy Edman and RHP Gordon Graceffo
St. Louis receives LHP Jesus Luzardo

Trade 2:
Miami receives SS Masyn Winn and LHP Matthew Liberatore
St. Louis receives LHP Jesus Luzardo and UTIL Dane Myers

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