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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Trade 3: Tampa Bay Rays receive Randy Arozarena, Jose Martinez, 2020 supplemental first-round pick. St. Louis Cardinals receive Matthew Liberatore, Edgardo Rodriguez, 2020 supplemental second-round pick

Speaking of ALCS MVP winners, the Cardinals definitely could've predicted Randy Arozarena's rise with Tampa Bay. After some clubhouse controversies between Arozarena and manager Mike Shildt in the Postseason, the Cardinals traded Arozarena and Jose Martinez to the Rays for promising lefty pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and Edgardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez never panned out in St. Louis nor was he expected to, but the former top prospect Liberatore has been a major disappointment.

The Matthew Liberatore starting experiment has likely run its course, and he'll be used as a bullpen piece in the future. While he has been very solid as a lefty option in the pen, it's nowhere near the value the Rays got from Randy Arozarena. Arozarena immediately made an impact in 2020, slugging a record 11 home runs in a lengthened COVID playoffs. Following the 2020 pennant run, Arozarena showed no signs of slowing down, winning American League Rookie of the Year.

He went on to have a fantastic 2022 and 2023 season, in which he made his first All-Star appearance last year and led Mexico to a semifinal berth in the World Baseball Classic. With the Cardinals' inability to sustain a consistent outfield group due to injuries and general underperformance, moving on from Arozarena for a failed starter turned reliever was insufficient. If the Cardinals needed to part with him after the clubhouse controversy, they needed to get more from him for this trade to be nearly worthwhile. Letting yet another outfielder get away with the inability to maintain a consistent core was an unacceptable mistake from the front office.