5 dream trade targets for the St. Louis Cardinals

These players may not be the shiniest of trade candidates, but they would help the team make a playoff push in a tremendous way.
Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox
Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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Dream Candidate #3: LHP Tanner Scott

The Miami Marlins will be sellers this year; that's a fact. When Peter Bendix traded offensive whiz Luis Arraez to the Padres in early May, the signs were clear that the Marlins weren't planning on contending this year or next. With that in mind, teams have begun eyeing the Fish for trade candidates.

While Jesus Luzardo may be the most obvious pick here, I'm taking a different route. Luzardo's 5.30 ERA is a career-high, and although he had two strong years in 2022 and 2023, he has lost his effectiveness on nearly all of his pitches.

Rather, the Marlins player that intrigues me most would be reliever Tanner Scott. Scott will be a free agent at the end of the season, so he's a true rental. Rental relievers, regardless of how dominant they are, rarely fetch a top-100 prospect, so the Cardinals can hold on to key guys like Victor Scott II, Tink Hence, Thomas Saggese, and Quinn Matthews. It's possible even Tekoah Roby will be spared.

Scott has thrown 32 innings in relief this year, and he has a 1.69 ERA, 3.89 FIP, and a 1.156 WHIP. His 25.8% K rate is nothing to scoff at, and there's room for growth there, as that's the lowest mark of his career. This is the second year in a row of dominance for Tanner Scott; last year, he had a 2.31 ERA and a 2.17 FIP. He's managed to generate lots of soft contact this year, and his elevated groundball rate will play well with the Cardinals' defense.

Scott can help bolster the back end of the bullpen that is lacking a lefty option outside of JoJo Romero. While Matthew Liberatore has been better out of the bullpen, he's best utilized as a swingman for multiple innings. Scott can be another late-game option for manager Oliver Marmol.