5 blockbuster Winter Meetings trades to make the St. Louis Cardinals true contenders

The St. Louis Cardinals need to continue to press the gas heading into the Winter Meetings, and one of these blockbuster deals would ace their offseason.
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago White Sox
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Cardinals get a high-risk arm with Cy Young upside

Cardinals receive: RHP Tyler Glasnow

Rays receive: OF Alec Burleson and RHP Gordon Graceffo

Tyler Glasnow is probably the most controversial trade target for the Cardinals. Here is the thing though, Goold continues to report the Cardinals' interest in Glasnow, and others in baseball see it as well. It's not just some random idea that fans have, it's something the Cardinals are looking into.

I, for one, love the idea of pursuing Glasnow. He is one of the most talented pitchers in baseball, and the numbers show it:

Tyler Glasnow's 2023 Rankings among starters who threw 120 innings

2.91 FIP (3rd)
2.75 xFIP (1st)
3.08 SIERA (2nd)
121 Stuff+ (7th)
33.4 K% (2nd)
25.8 K-BB% (2nd)

If you're anti-advanced metrics, just go look at the other names at the top of those categories with Glasnow. It's guys like Spencer Strider, Kevin Gausman, lake Snell, Shohei Ohtani, Sonny Gray, Zach Wheeler, Gerrit Cole, etc.

I get it, the injury risk is nerve-wracking. Paying a guy $25 million next year who you're not sure if you're going to get 80 innings or 160 innings from is not ideal. But both of those concerns is exactly why his price to acquire is insanely low for someone as talented (and effective) as Glasnow, and why the Cardinals should be all over this move.

The rotation depth the Cardinals have built with Gray, Gibson, and Lynn helps them to be more aggressive in pursuing a guy like Glasnow. They now have the innings eaters to cover for if Glasnow goes down, but if he is healthy, they have one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball.

Giving up Alec Burleson and Gordon Graceffo is not a cheap price to pay, but it's a lot easier than giving up all the assets needed for a guy like Cease. The Cardinals are able to hold onto all of their best young position player (including Saggese) and their top three pitching prospects (Hence, Roby, and in my opinion Hjerpe).

Not only do the Cardinals have the ability to take on the risks associated with Glasnow, but there's actually an opportunity to recoup value from him later that few people talk about.

If things with Glasnow go really well, the Cardinals can look to lock him up long-term, which makes the price they paid for him even more worth it. If they can't reach an extension, they will give him the qualifying offer and receive a draft pick for him in 2025. If he doesn't have the market he was hoping for, he can return on that qualifying offer, and the Cardinals once again have an elite talent for another season.

I'm so in on a Glasnow deal if the Cardinals make it happen. I love the idea of Cease as well, so they cannot go wrong going after either guy.