5 prospects at risk of being traded by the Cardinals for a frontline starting pitcher

If the Cardinals want to swing a deal for a top starter on the trade market, some of these prospects may be on the move.

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If the St. Louis Cardinals want to swing big for another rotation upgrade this offseason, it could require them to part with significant prospects to make a deal happen.

This is especially the case when it comes to a player like Dylan Cease, who the Cardinals are reportedly interested in and is expected to be moved this offseason. This would also apply to a Tyler Glasnow trade, or any deal for a starting pitcher that the Mariners or Marlins may be interested in moving, as they may want prospects attached to the bats they are seeking.

The Cardinals farm system is not among the most highly ranked in baseball, in large part due to recent graduations from names like Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, Matthew Liberatore, and Alec Burleson, who were all top 100 prospects at various points. That is part of why so many teams covet their young big-league talent because they are MLB-proven contributors with high ceilings.

Still, there are a number of names in the Cardinals' farm system who a team like the White Sox, Mariners, or Marlins could want in trade negotiations. They have some high upside arms in the system now who could move the needle. It may seem counter-intuitive to trade young pitching for pitching, but it's worth the cost if it nets the Cardinals a top starter.

The industry also really values how the Cardinals develop young bats. They have taken top prospects like Walker, Gorman, and Burleson, helping them carve out roles on a Major League roster, and in the cases of Walker and Gorman, project to be very good hitters for a long time. They also have a knack for developing "diamonds in the rough", such as Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, and Tommy Edman.

I want to look at five different prospects I think could be at risk of being dealt by the Cardinals this offseason in a major trade. None of these names are guys I think they would move on from outside of getting a significant player in return. If I'm being honest, I think almost every name in the Cardinals system could be had for the levels of players we are talking about, but these prospects in particular seem like possible candidates if a major deal gets done.