5 Cardinals' trade targets from teams falling out of contention

With the recent surge, the St. Louis Cardinals are vaulting themselves into playoff discussions while other teams are fading.
Washington Nationals v Chicago White Sox - Game Two
Washington Nationals v Chicago White Sox - Game Two / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages
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RHP Alek Manoah

For those of you who have only been paying attention to Alek Manoah news from last year through the offseason, his inclusion on this list may be a bit peculiar. Manoah struggled mightily in 2023 after being a Cy Young candidate in 2022.

The 26-year-old is actually off to a decent start this year through 4 appearances. He has pitched 22.2 innings and given up a total of 10 runs. His strikeouts are a bit up compared to his past two seasons, but he is also allowing slightly more than 1 home run per outing at this point. Where we can see similarities to his All-Star form from yesteryear would be in his fastball velocity. It has ticked back up to 93.5 MPH from 92.9 last year. At its peak, Manoah's fastball could hit 94 MPH with relative ease.

A trade for Manoah would be a bit of a buy-low proposition. He still isn't back to his 2022 self, but he's definitely not as bad as he was last year. Manoah would likely slot in at the back of the rotation with the hopes that he can revive his stuff from two years ago. In order to achieve those heights, he needs his fastball to get back to where it was, and he needs to be better at limiting hard contact.

It may not take much in return to land Alek Manoah (see Dylan Carlson rumors from the offseason, though those are likely dated at this point). If he can continue to be at least an average starter, a trade for Manoah may be a savvy move by the front office. The Blue Jays haven't been consistent enough to commit, and plenty of national pundits see them as true sellers at this deadline given the near-expiring contracts of guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.