7 trade partners that make way too much sense for the Cardinals at the trade deadline

Luckily for the Cardinals, there are plenty of suitors that would make a ton of sense for them to make a trade with.
May 4, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Chicago White Sox right fielder Tommy Pham (28) celebrates with shortstop Paul DeJong (29) after the White Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Chicago White Sox right fielder Tommy Pham (28) celebrates with shortstop Paul DeJong (29) after the White Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in ten innings at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Astros

I know the Rangers are the defending World Series champions, but talking about the Houston Astros as a potential seller is a lot weirder to me. I kept expecting the Astros to totally turn things around, and while they've been a lot better as of late, they still sit 5.5 games back of the AL West and 4.5 games back of the Wild Card race. In a few weeks here we could be talking about them as buyers, but for now, they are at least in the conversation for selling, and if they do, they have pieces the Cardinals should want.

No, I'm not talking about Kyle Tucker, who will cost way too much prospect capital for the Cardinals to consider, or even some crazy idea of getting Alex Bregman. Once again, pitching is at the forefront of mind here, and the Astros have a number of arms the Cardinals could be interested in.

Like Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander is having a significant amount of his contract paid down by the Mets, but he has a player option for 2025 so the Cardinals would be on the hook for $18 million unless the Astros paid some of that down as well. He did hit the injured list recently with neck discomfort and already missed time earlier in the season too, so I'm not sure how comfortable St. Louis would be going after him.

The bigger fish that the Cardinals would surely like to add to their rotation is left-hander Framber Valdez, who's posted a 3.68 ERA this season and has one more year of control following this season. Valdez has been with the Astros for years now and is used to the high-stakes environments of October and has found himself in the Cy Young race a number of times in his career.

Again, it's unclear if the Astros will even sell at all, but if they did do so, it would take a significant package to convince them to forgo having Valdez in their rotation next year, something the Cardinals will have to debate heavily internally to consider.

Which of these teams do you think the Cardinals should be looking to make a deal with during July? If I had to pick my favorites, I would say the Blue Jays and Rangers for rotation help and then the Rays for another bullpen arm, but it remains to be seen which of those teams truly sell.

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