4) 1B Luke Voit for RP Giovanny Gallegos and RP Chasen Shreve (2018)
At first, this deal seemed like one the Cardinals may regret. Voit mashed for the rest of the 2018 season in New York. He was legitimately one of baseball's best hitters during that stretch. The Cardinals could have used that power too, as they were embroiled in a tight Wild Card race, one which they ultimately lost to the Rockies. Meanwhile, Shreve, the more advanced pitcher in the return package, was just okay with St. Louis. He pitched to a 3.07 ERA in 14 innings, though statistics suggest he was lucky. Just two appearances into 2019, Shreve was gone, and the Cardinals seemed like they'd regret this trade for years to come.
Voit was productive again in 2018 and received down-ballot MVP support in 2020. His 22 homers led all of baseball in the shortened season. But, that's where his career would end in New York. He was limited in 2021 and shipped out at the end of the season. Now in San Diego, Voit performed well but found himself traded yet again at the 2022 trade deadline as part of the Juan Soto package. He struggled in Washington before reaching free agency at the end of the season. Milwaukee signed him shortly thereafter but released him just two months into 2023. He's just recently been released by the Mets, after spending several weeks in their farm system. This future is far less glamorous than the one envisioned in this article, posted on MLB.com in 2019.
Enter Giovanny Gallegos. He was the second pitcher in the deal, and it seemed as though he couldn't even begin to make up for what the Cardinals lost in Voit. In 2019, Gallegos emerged as one of baseball's best young relievers. He pitched a whopping 74 innings of 2.31 ERA baseball. Gallegos has been reliable, if a bit streaky, for the Cardinals for five consecutive seasons. He has some of the best stuff of any Cardinal reliever in the 21st century.
In each full season in St. Louis, he has been one of, if not the, most important relievers on the team. Now on a team-friendly extension, he's poised to remain in St. Louis for the foreseeable future. Sure, the Cardinals may have enjoyed some of Luke Voit's power, but the incredible value of Giovanny Gallegos makes this trade a slam dunk for Mozeliak and co. Besides, the Cardinals acquired another powerful first baseman prior to the 2019 season.