6 impact starting pitchers the Cardinals could trade for at an affordable price

The St. Louis Cardinals are going to upgrade their rotation before the Trade Deadline, but it may not be wise to break the bank while doing so.
Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages
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Cal Quantrill, Rockies

Out of the next three names, Cal Quantrill is the least exciting of them all, but if the Cardinals decided to go really inexpensive while upgrading their fifth spot in their rotation, Quantrill could be that guy.

First of all, whenever you have a guy finding as much success as Quantrill has while pitching for the Rockies, you take notice. Quantrill has posted a 3.43 ERA this year in 15 starts, but he's actually been even better on the road, posting a 3.06 ERA in nine starts.

Quantrill is a pitch-to-contact kind of guy and does so very effectively, ranking in the 65th percentile or better in hard-hit, barrel, and groundball percentage. He mostly uses his sinker and splitter against opposing hitters but will occasionally work in a cutter and curveball as well.

You may remember Quantrill from his time with Cleveland, as he came up as a pretty exciting and effective reliever, posting 2.25, 2.89, and a 3.38 ERA in consecutive seasons from 2020-2022. His xERA was always above 4.00 though, and 2023 finally caught up to him with that ERA skyrocketed all the way up to 5.24 and he ranked in the bottom 1% in baseball in K%.

Needless to say, while other names on this list would qualify as upgrades over other arms in the Cardinals rotation, this would purely be an upgrade over the spot Andre Pallante holds right now. It would make the team better and come at a bargain price, but the acquisition would be more about getting the Cardinals to October, rather than helping them succeed there.