One of my first stories over at Redbird Rants in December 2021 centered around the idea of the Cardinals trading for an ace-caliber starter who was, at that moment, rehabbing from a major injury, but the thought process was that Rays' Tyler Glasnow could potentially help the club at the end of the 2022 season and be a big part of their 2023 rotation.
Apparently, people didn't like the idea of trading then-prospect Juan Yepez for Glasnow, although I would bet many have changed their opinion on that since then. Regardless, the Cardinals, to my knowledge, never expressed interest in Glasnow back then, but new reports indicate that has changed.
Derrick Goold has already reported interest from the Cardinals in Glasnow, saying, "..if the Rays entertain discussions, the Cardinals will call. Or email. Or text. Or all three." To Goold's point, the Rays have not yet said they would be shopping Glasnow, but there are a lot of signs that point in that direction.
Glasnow is set to make $25 million in 2024, making him by far their highest-paid player. With the injury history he has had, being a year away from free agency, and their need to shake up the roster, it would make sense to shop Glasnow, bring in some value, and use that salary elsewhere.
When asked in a recent chat what Glasnow's price would be on the trade market, Goold had some interesting thoughts in his weekly chat to add to the conversation.
"....if Tampa Bay entertains offers the Cardinals are going to be one of the teams that calls...But they know the price. The idea is that the salary shapes what it takes to get him in return. Now there will be other bidders, that drives the price, but the uncertainty and the cost should also make it quite clear what Rays will want in return. MLB help. Maybe a bit of an upside risk, too. Lower cost."
Let's take a look at five potential trade packages for Glasnow for the St. Louis Cardinals
Cardinals receive: RHP Tyler Glasnow
Rays receive: UTL Tommy Edman and 1B/OF Juan Yepez
If you were to ask me personally what the most likely centerpiece to a Tyler Glasnow trade would be, I'd easily say Tommy Edman.
With Glasnow's injury history, salary, and lack of control, there is no way the Cardinals are trading Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, or Nolan Gorman to get a deal done. Still, the Rays will want an impact player for their MLB roster, and Edman sure fits that bill.
Edman feels like a Tampa Bay Ray to me. He's versatile, has clear strengths (speed, defense, and his bat vs. left-handed pitching), and has two years of control remaining. He isn't as cheap as he used to be though. MLB Trade Rumors is projecting his arbitration number to be $6.5 million this year, and there's a good chance that number gets close to $10 million next season before hitting free agency in 2026. Edman's value is probably as high as it will ever be this offseason, and the Cardinals have internal options to replace him.
No, they don't have one guy who can be an above-average or plus defender at shortstop, second base, and center field, but they do have options for all three of those spots. Masyn Winn should be the starting shortstop this year, with Brendan Donovan and Thomas Saggese being guys who can provide depth there. At second base, Donovan, Saggese, and Nolan Gorman form a really strong unit there. In center field, the Cardinals have Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and potentially even prospect Victor Scott II in the very near future.
Edman still provides a ton of value though, so the Cardinals aren't going to give him away for nothing. But the idea of adding an arm like Glasnow may be too tempting for them to pass on.
With the Wander Franco situation still looming over the Rays, Edman gives them an immediate solution at shortstop and someone who can bounce around for them through the 2025 season. Juan Yepez gets a change of scenery here as well, and I'm sure the Rays could find a role for him to help unlock his bat at the Major League level.
I'll make a note of this for each trade - but with the offsetting of Edman and Herrea's salaries, the Cardinals would only at a net payroll of about $17.8 million in this deal. If the DeWitts are telling the truth in their intention to jump up the payroll rankings this year, then that still leaves them with room to add two more top-end arms in free agency as well.