8 players the Cardinals need to consider trading if their season is over

The St. Louis Cardinals may be heading toward selling again at this year's trade deadline. If that's the case, these 8 players could be made available.
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals
New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals are in a nose dive right now, dropping six of their last eight games while falling to 15-21 on the season. And somehow, that's not even the worst news of all. The Cardinals lost their superstar catcher Willson Contreras to a fractured forearm on Tuesday night after his arm got hit on a swing from Mets' designated hitter J.D. Martinez.

Are the Cardinals on a one-way track toward being sellers again in 2024?

That's what it feels like right now, but I want to say on the front end that May 8th is not exactly the moment in time when teams need to determine if they are out of contention or not. But to be fair to Cardinals fans, it is probably difficult to even entertain the idea of patience after what happened in 2023.

The Cardinals could win their next four games and things would feel at least a bit better. The offense continues to be dormant even with all of the talent it possesses. While the Cardinals preaching patience regarding their pitching woes in 2023 seemed hopeless at best, their reluctance to give up on this offense makes a lot of sense. I get the argument for making a change at hitting coach to shake things up, but ultimately, the lineup should not be as bad as it is.

And yet, here we are. And I think it's fair to have some conversations about what kinds of trades the Cardinals could be looking at in the near future if this season ends up being a wash.

I've covered the the overall idea of a retool for 2025 on the site already, but today I'm going to take a deep dive at each of the prominent trade candidates on the Cardinals roster if things continue to go south and they need to begin a true retool or rebuild. I'll state their case a bit as trade assets, talk about what kind of value I think the Cardinals could get in return, and name a few destinations that could make sense.

While there is still time for the Cardinals to turn things around, here are eight players the club should consider trading if the season is truly over.

Paul Goldschmidt

I'll be brief on the idea of Paul Goldschmidt as a trade chip since he is the most obvious piece to move, and yet, is the most complicated player on this list to determine any kind of trade value for.

Goldschmidt has been bad in 2024, plain and simple. He is now slashing .195/.287/.263, good for a .550 OPS and just 11 RBI on the year. It's the beginning of May and Goldschmidt's stats still look this bad. It's a continuation of what was a really disappointing second half from Goldschmidt in 2023, and frankly, there are no signs of things getting better right now. After his 4-5 performance against the Tigers on April 30th, Goldschmidt has gone 0-23 in the last six games he has played in, striking out in 10 of those appearances.

Right now, Goldschmidt does not look like a guy that any contender wants to add to their lineup. So if this is the player he'll be all season, then I honestly don't know what happens with him. Maybe someone offers pennies on the dollar to see if he gets a resurgence on a new club, or maybe the Cardinals ride it out and just let his contract expire. If he can turn things around, he may be one of the better bats available in the trade market and help the Cardinals get a decent prospect in return.

Trade fits: Diamondbacks, Red Sox, Tigers, Twins, Mariners, and Rangers