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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Dylan Carlson

The writing appears to be on the wall for a once-prized prospect in the Cardinals' system. Yes, Mozeliak's comment about having to pry Dylan Carlson from his "dead hands" will forever live in infamy at this point.

That comment has not aged well for some time now. While fans love to claim that Carlson was the reason they did not trade for Juan Soto (which has been consistently debunked), their infatuation with Carlson has turned out to be a major mistake and to make matters even worse, it really does feel like the club is a major reason Carlson did not pan out.

I lean toward the perspective that Carlson has had plenty of chances to prove himself as a Cardinal, but it is not hard to see how their rushing of him in 2020 and handling of his playing time since they dealt Harrison Bader have hurt his development big time. The last major mistake they seemed to make was the 2023 Opening Day roster, where they seemingly rushed Jordan Walker into a starting role instead of giving Carlson the opportunity to run with a starting role.

Anyway, enough about the past, the present is why Carlson is about as good as gone when the deadline passes. While his value is at an all-time low, there just is no reason to keep him around once Lars Nootbaar and Tommy Edman return. Michael Siani has blown away the club's expectations up until this point as a primary center fielder, and both Brendan Donovan and Alec Burleson need to play consistently in the outfield. While they could option Carlson to Memphis, it just feels like he's destined to be moved.

As I said, that value should be seen as low right now, but not as bad as someone like Paul DeJong last year. Carlson still has another two years of team control, and I'm sure there will be clubs who are interested in seeing if he can turn things around in a new city.

There are four types of deals I think we could see Carlson moved in:

1. Swapped for a reliever
2. Part of a package (not the centerpiece) for a significant starting pitcher
3. Swapped for a back-end of the rotation starter with less control
4. Moved for prospects (not likely to be any that blow you away)

Time will tell which direction the Cardinals go in, but it really does appear like a move is imminent.