6 fresh trade ideas for the St. Louis Cardinals during trade deadline week

The trade deadline is August 1st, and there are fresh ideas on how the Cardinals can make deals to the club for 2024

New York Yankees v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Yankees v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
2 of 7

Cardinals and Mariners swap young bats for a young arm

Cardinals receive; RHP Logan Gilbert

Mariners receive: OF Lars Nootbaar, UTL Tommy Edman, and 1B/OF Juan Yepez

This first one is easily the most aggressive move the Cardinals could make at the deadline, but it's one I think they need to strongly consider. Will it hurt? Yes. But the risk is worth the potential reward.

Logan Gilbert is one of the most valuable young arms in today's game. I think many of us have underrated his value as an up-and-coming starter who is under team control through 2027. FanGraphs just ranked the most valuable players in baseball when it comes to trade value, and they had Gilbert ranked number 33 overall, ranked ahead of guys like Randy Arozarena, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Bobby Witt Jr. Just look at what they had to say about him.

"Gilbert is in a different tier, value-wise, than everyone who came before him. I guess that means there are 33 no-doubt ultra-valuable players in baseball this year...

Controllable pitching is really valuable. Good controllable pitching? Now we’re cooking with gas. Gilbert is working on his third straight season of a mid-3.00s FIP, and he’s durable to boot. I’m not sure he’ll ever turn into a fire-breathing monster of an ace, but there’s at least a chance of it...

Players like this don’t come along every day, and when they do, teams generally clutch them like pearls."

Such a player will not come cheap for the Cardinals in a trade. They'll have to offer up a valuable asset of their own, which I think Lars Nootbaar makes the most sense to be the centerpiece of a package. In that same ranking looking at the most valuable trade pieces in baseball, FanGraphs had Nootbaar at number 47.

Nootbaar makes up a significant chunk of Gilbert's value, but not all of it. It's going to take multiple MLB-ready position players to get it done, with one of those needing to be of decent value as well. Tommy Edman fits that mold, and he could play all over the field for the Mariners like he does the Cardinals. Juan Yepez could round out the package, as although he doesn't get opportunities with St. Louis, he could thrive as a hitter in Seattle.

Why all of this for Logan Gilbert? Like FanGraphs, and frankly, the majority of the league will tell you, controllable starting pitching that already has the track record that Gilbert has is coveted by every team in baseball. There's a reason the best starters in baseball are getting $30+ million AAVs over multiple years, and mid-tier starters can land large, multi-year deals as well. Pitching is hard to come by, and cheap pitching at the level of GIlbert is even more difficult.

The Mariners are stacked with young pitching (George Kirby, Bryan Woo, Bryce Miller, and Emerson Hancock) as well as veteran arms like Luis Castillo and Robbie Ray. If anyone can afford to part with Gilbert for a package of young bats, it's them.

It would be hard for the Cardinals to lose Nootbaar and Edman, but St. Louis has plenty of outfield depth, along with Paul DeJong and Masyn Winn ready to take over at shortstop. Gilbert might not be an ace, but he has the upside of one, and at the very least, he gives the Cardinals a very good number two or number three on a cheap contract, allowing them to invest heavily into an ace in free agency. The Cardinals can't pay 3-4 starters free agent type money and also pay a top-end ace. They need cheap pitching also to make it work. Gilbert is the best option they can get.