5 things that would need to happen for the Cardinals to compete for the World Series

The Cardinals are not in the conversation of World Series contenders right now, but what would have to happen to get them there?

San Diego Padres v St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages
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#4 - The Cardinals make a major addition to their rotation during the season

Let's say the Cardinals have a strong first half of the season and are buyers at the Trade Deadline. It's clear that the club will need to swing higher than they usually do by going out and acquiring another front-line starter.

It won't come cheap. The Cardinals just reaped the benefits of that when they traded Jordan Montgomery last deadline and acquired two top-100 prospects in return. They could just go out and sign Montgomery or Blake Snell now and not have to give up prospects at the deadline, but I think that's far less likely than a trade would be.

The White Sox will still be looking to move Dylan Cease at the deadline. Perhaps the Marlins will finally move Jesus Luzardo. Maybe the Twins fall out of contention and put Pablo Lopez on the block. Who would have thought this time last year that Montgomery, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer would all be traded? By this time in July, there may be some surprise trade targets added to that mix.

The Cardinals have to be aggressive in trading for another top starter if they want to go deep in October. They'll have the pieces to pull it off. Thomas Saggese, Victor Scott II, Tekoah Roby, Tink Hence, and Gordon Graceffo are all valuable trade chips. On the MLB roster, guys like Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Alec Burleson carry a lot of value. If absolutely needed, they could even put someone like Nolan Gorman or Brendan Donovan on the table.

If the Cardinals add another front-line starter to pair with Sonny Gray, their top lineup, and improved bullpen, they start to have a better shot against the best teams in baseball.