By now, everyone is aware that the 2023 season has been a dumpster fire for the St. Louis Cardinals. While they are no longer in last place in the NL Central thanks to the Pirates turning back into the Pirates and St. Louis playing well to start the second half, being 11 games below .500 and nine games out of a playoff spot has been brutal to watch for everyone.
However, there is still a lot of talent on this Cardinals roster especially on the offensive side of the ball, so the path to contention shouldn't necessarily be a long one. Assuming that the Cardinals hold firm and don't move guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Brendan Donovan, and Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals are just a few actual starting pitchers away from competing once again.
To take that step back towards contention, though, they are going to have to be careful which minor league prospects they choose to part with both at the trade deadline this year as well as during the offseason. There is certainly a case for the Cardinals acquiring a player (hopefully a starter) that is under team control for at least next season at the deadline, but they can't afford to move on from the wrong guys.
Here are 4 Cardinals prospects that they need to keep to help them in 2024
Just for the sake of clarity, this is not an argument for the Cardinals not to sell at the trade deadline. They absolutely should not worry anymore about the 2023 season as it is a lost cause. However, this is just a recognition of the fact that the Cardinals COULD make moves that are focused on competing in 2024 and beyond at the deadline and they definitely should do that this coming offseason. In those circumstances, these are the guys that they need to keep around unless the return is too big to ignore. Every prospect has a price.
Lets take a look at the prospects that the Cardinals need to hang on to to help them in 2024.