6 realistic trade chips the Cardinals may dangle at the trade deadline

The Cardinals are buying at this year's trade deadline and these six trade chips make the most sense to move.
Baltimore Orioles v St. Louis Cardinals
Baltimore Orioles v St. Louis Cardinals / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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It is pretty amazing how far the St. Louis Cardinals have come this season. I finally caved in and joined the chorus of voices writing them off after they lost their seventh-straight game on May 11th, and since then, they have been one of the best teams in the National League and are a clear buyer at this year's trade deadline.

And yet, even the most optimistic of fans know this team needs some upgrades if they are going to make any noise in October. The easy needs appear to be another starting pitcher and bullpen reinforcements, but we may actually see them look to pursue another bat as well with how frustrating the offense has been this year.

As we all know though, in order to acquire talent, you have to be willing to trade talent away. We can all wish a team would take an offer of Giovanny Gallegos and Michael McGreevy for a star player, but that is just not how this trade deadline is going to go if the Cardinals want to aim big.

I'm not even talking as big as acquiring guys like Garrett Crochet or Luis Robert, which we all know is not happening. It really is possible and realistic for the Cardinals to acquire a number two starter, a bullpen piece or two, and/or a bat from the right side of the plate if they feel inclined to, but the names it will take to acquire one won't be comfortable.

I have come up with a list of six Cardinals players and prospects who I could see the club realistically moving at this deadline to make some upgrades, but first, let's start by looking at players they will not be moving.

Do not make sense to trade: Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Nolan Gorman, and Jordan Walker

The veteran and young duos make little sense to trade for some overlapping and some very different reasons.

When looking at all four of these position players, there is no doubt that their trade value is significantly lower today than it was this offseason, and the returns the Cardinals could get on any of them just don't make any sense to consider right now. That is especially the case with Walker and Gorman, who should still have significant roles with the club moving forward.

Paul Goldschmidt is in a contract year and I do not see a contender forking over anything of significance for him. Some may argue moving him off the roster is a win in itself, but I highly doubt the Cardinals would be interested in shipping him off for nothing instead of seeing if he can find himself between now and October.

Moving Nolan Arenado is a whole other set of complications. His play on the field is not going to warrant any significant value in return, and he still has a ton of money remaining on his contract. At this point, I think the Cardinals would have to eat some of his salary to move him, and I still don't think that helps them get anything of true value in return. Maybe they can look at that in the offseason, but for now, I just do not see it.

Walker does not have a clear role with the club in 2024 and may not make it back to St. Louis this season, but his talent is far too great to give up on if you are the Cardinals. There is no point in moving him. I think the same can be said about Gorman, who I know is really struggling right now, but I doubt gets the Cardinals something in return that makes it worth moving him.