#1 - Sell on pieces that will not be here in 2023, use remaining assets to retool for 2024
Call it a jump start on their offseason.
While they should for sure be shopping the names I listed earlier and getting the most return on investment that they can for them, they should also be looking to package some of their own young talent to improve their pitching staff for 2024 and beyond. What do I mean by that?
Say St. Louis trades all three of Jack Flaherty, Jordan Montgomery, and Jordan Hicks. Let's add in Tyler O'Neill and one of Ryan Helsley or Giovanny Gallegos as well. This means they are stockpiling on even more assets with an already strong farm system and young major league position player group. Some of these assets, especially if they are pitching, could be used to help the club in future seasons. Some could become trade chips later on like the Yankees did when they retooled at the 2016 deadline.
But what it really helps open up is the possibilities of the Cardinals acquiring controllable talent for 2024 and beyond.
Jon Morosi has already indicated that the Cardinals and Mariners have talked over the last year about various deals. The Mariners need young bats and have controllable arms like Logan Glibert, Bryce Miller, and George Kirby that they can deal. The Marlins are in a similar position with Jesus Luzardo, Edward Cabrera, and mulitple top pitching prospects. The White Sox could be compelled to move on from Dylan Cease or Michael Koepch. The Guardians may be willing to deal Shane Bieber.
All of these pitchers have team control beyond 2023, meaning if the Cardinals make a move for them now, they are buying not only for this season, but for their 2024 team and possibly further out.
If this was a rebuild, you wouldn't see them engage in trade talks that could require them to move on from Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, Nolan Gorman, or Lars Nootbaar. But when you are looing to retool, those guys become potential trade chips to acquire what you need. And if you are selling on assets like your impending free agents, you can have replenish some of that production you may lose.
I would be shocked if St. Louis does not make a major effort to approach their deadline by capitilzing on the ROI of guys they do not see a future with beyond 2023, while also looking to add MLB ready arms for 2024 and beyond.