4 trade locations and returns for Cardinals' All-Star closer Ryan Helsley

Ryan Helsley will draw plenty of interest at this year's trade deadline if the Cardinals choose to sell. These teams are good fits for the righty.
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers - Game One
St. Louis Cardinals v Detroit Tigers - Game One / Duane Burleson/GettyImages
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Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays aren't off to their usual strong start. As of May 13th, the Rays sit in 4th place in the tough American League East with a record of 20-21. Their offense has been the primary culprit in their underperformance, but their bullpen has left much to be desired as well.

The Rays' bullpen ranks 29th in total bWAR, 27th in ERA, last in FIP, and they've blown 8 of 19 save opportunities this year. They could use some serious help, especially late in games. Enter Ryan Helsley.

The Cardinals have been fleeced by the Rays before in a trade, so President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak should enter these discussions with great caution. The Rays cycle through prospects like toilet paper, so they could part with some of their best to make for a playoff push down the stretch this year.

Most of the Rays' top prospects are quite young, and those that are near the majors are either of no use to the Cardinals due to their position or would cost too much in return. Therefore, in order to maximize Helsley's value, Mo must pluck from the Rays' MLB team. The Cardinals could use some pop in their lineup. They could also use a first baseman, especially if Paul Goldschmidt is traded at the deadline.

I would propose a Ryan Helsley trade, possibly as part of a package, for Rays' first baseman Yandy Diaz. Diaz, 32, is a veteran of the game, and he seemed to have tapped into something last year. As a result, Tampa Bay extended him a 3-year, $24 million deal that included a club option on the back end. Diaz is affordable, has a history of hitting very well, and may have fallen out of favor in Tampa Bay.

He has a .250/.313/.356 slash line this year, but his career numbers are significantly better. Should the Cardinals trade Goldschmidt at this deadline, they could bring in Diaz for Helsley, and their first base situation will be settled for at least the next two years.

This trade will have to get creative to make it work, but it's an interesting proposal nonetheless.

Cardinals trade: RHP Ryan Helsley and 1B/DH Luken Baker
Rays trade: 1B Yandy Diaz and LHP Mason Montgomery