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.

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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Cooper Hjerpe

I'm talking a lot about the White Sox in this story, mainly because they are a team the Cardinals are directly linked with and it would be prospect-heavy, but wouldn't it be ironic if Cooper Hjerpe ended up in Chicago?

When people watch Hjerpe pitch, people immediately draw comparisons to Chris Sale based on his delivery and arm slot. While I don't think anyone is projecting Hjerpe to be the elite pitcher Sale was, there are many who are extremely high on him.

Hjerpe only threw 41 innings for High-A Peoria due to injury this year, but struck out 51 batters in the process and posted a 3.51 ERA. The Cardinals had him throw in the Arizona Fall League this year to recoup some of that lost time, and he struck out 15 batters in 8.1 innings of work.

While Hjerpe isn't a high-velocity guy, he's extremely deceptive with his stuff due to the way he pitches and could be a guy who maintains a higher strikeout rate as he continues to progress. His breaking stuff, especially his slider, are what could make him a truly exciting starter long-term.

I am a big fan of Hjerpe, but again, by adding some arms to their system at the deadline and with the opportunity to add a top-end starter, making Hjerpe available would not be a bad idea from St. Louis. The fact that he has already had elbow issues may lead them to move off of him as well.