5 free agents-to-be the Cardinals should consider trading for at the trade deadline

Several potential free agents could be available for the trade deadline. Who should the Cardinals kick the tires on?
Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
3 of 3

Jose Quintana

While he's not an ace, Quintana has proven to the Cardinals that he's a veteran leader who can take the ball and eat up innings when needed. Quintana helped the Cardinals after the trade deadline in 2022. While he was a fan favorite and loved by teammates, he didn't return to the Cardinals, opting for a deal with the New York Mets.

In 17 starts, Quintana is 3-5 with a 4.22 ERA for the Mets. He has 66 strikeouts over 89.2 innings. He has a mix of pitches, including a sinker, a four-seam fastball, a curveball, a changeup, and a slurve. He has a 29.5-percent swing-and-miss rate with a slurve pitch of 77.8 mph.

While Lance Lynn's role with the starting rotation could change at the deadline, Quintana could also be a good option for helping with long relief or piggybacking with another pitcher, such as Lynn.

Yusei Kikuchi

Kikuchi has started 18 games for the Toronto Blue Jays, garnering a dismal record of 4-8. In 94 innings pitched, he has 98 strikeouts with a 4.12 ERA. Kikuchi's pitch mix incorporates a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup. His changeup has a 33.8-percent swing-and-miss rate, which averages 87.1 mph.

The Blue Jays started their season with high hopes for success but have fallen into last place in the NL East with a 41-49 record.

Kikuchi, 33, is a left-handed arm who could provide some innings down the stretch for the Cardinals.

Andrew Heaney

Heaney is another Rangers pitcher who could be available at the trade deadline. Another left-handed arm, Heaney's 3-9 over 17 games started for the Rangers. He has 92 strikeouts over 90 innings. Heaney throws a four-seam fastball, a slider, a changeup, a curveball, and a cutter. The slider has a 38-percent swing-and-miss rate, averaging 81.9 mph.

The Cardinals need a left-handed pitcher with some good swing-and-miss stuff to get the team through the long summer days as they strive to be ready for an October run at the playoffs. Heaney would be a good veteran addition to the Cardinals.