5 trades the Cardinals likely wish they could do over

Cardinals fans often lament trades made by John Mozeliak and the front office. Here are five the Cardinals wish they could undo.
Detroit Tigers v St Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers v St Louis Cardinals / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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There's no easy way to put this. The St. Louis Cardinals are at a crossroads with their future. Their hopes of contending with the core of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado grow thinner as the cornerstone stars continue regressing. While the acquisitions of Goldy and Arenado were great trades by John Mozeliak and the Cardinals' front office, a few lackluster moves by the same leadership group have hindered the organization's progress in recent years. As the trade deadline approaches and the Cardinals prepare to buy, they need to learn from past mistakes and preserve the future. Let's take a look at some trades the Cardinals likely wish they could do over.

Trade 1: Miami Marlins receive Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Magnueris Sierra, and Daniel Castano. St. Louis Cardinals receive Marcell Ozuna

In hopes of finding outfield stability following the tragic passing of top prospect Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals and the Marlins linked up for a deal in the winter of 2017. While St. Louis was initially interested in former MVP Giancarlo Stanton, and a deal was in place to acquire Stanton instead of Ozuna, the now Yankees' DH vetoed the trade with his no-trade clause.

Even as the Cardinals pivoted to Marcell Ozuna, there was no way to win the trade with the package they gave up. At this point, Sierra and Castano are the throw-in players, neither of whom panned out in the Major Leagues, but Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen developed into two frontline starting pitchers. Compounded with the disappointment of top-end pitching prospects such as Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Jack Flaherty, and Alex Reyes, the loss of Alcantara and Gallen as legitimate aces was a huge blow to the organization.

Alcantara won the National League Cy Young award with Miami in 2022, in a year the Cardinals were pitching starved at the deadline and lacked a true ace. The Marlins ultimately traded Gallen to Arizona for Jazz Chisholm Jr., but he has developed into a Cy Young candidate with the Diamondbacks. For a team lacking cost-controlled starting pitching, which has impacted their spending habits tremendously, losing out on two in one package cannot happen.

Moreover, Ozuna saw tremendous regression during his time in St. Louis. Injuries seemed to hinder his swing, and he never truly reached the heights he did in a Marlins uniform. He's performed better in recent years with the Atlanta Braves, but the Cardinals never truly reaped the rewards they could've had from Marcell Ozuna.