8 steps the Cardinals should take to retool for 2025 if they fail again this year

The Cardinals have plenty of time to get into contention, but if things go south again, we may see them enter a true "retool" with young talent come July.
Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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If you follow my St. Louis Cardinals coverage, you'll know I am optimistic about this team's ability to compete for a playoff spot in 2024, even with the offense's early season struggles.

Even so, what happens if things do go south again for St. Louis, much like it did in 2023?

Well, I've been thinking about that a lot this past week.

On Friday, I joined Brenden Schaeffer (who covers the Cardinals for KMOV and has excellent daily coverage of the Cardinals on YouTube and audio platforms) to chat more about this hypothetical scenario. We both agree it's far too early to say this is where the Cardinals where end up, but if they do, we had a ton of thoughts about what a "retool" could look like. You can watch/listen to our conversation below.

We honestly could have gone on for hours about this potential "retool", and yes, we called it a retool. Even if the Cardinals have a second straight losing season, there's plenty of young talent on this club to just take a step back in the near future, and quickly reload the roster to begin pushing toward playoff contention as soon as 2025, but especially in 2026 and beyond.

I highly recommend subscribing to Schaeffer's podcast if you're interested in daily Cardinals coverage from someone who's at the ballpark frequently and has really fun and dynamic content. While we covered plenty of this in our conversation, I wanted to lay out my own thoughts on a potential Cardinals retool, and what the "8-step process" I think the Cardinals will need to undergo in order to make this retool successful.

Trade Paul Goldschmidt

This is the first and most obvious move if the Cardinals fall out of contention this season. Paul Goldschmidt was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks via trade prior to the 2019 season and has been a fixture in the middle of their order ever since. While the club has had minimal postseason success in Goldschmidt's tenure, he did with the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2022 and may be on his way toward becoming a Hall of Famer.

Goldschmidt hasn't been himself so far in 2024, posting a .582 OPS and just two home runs prior to Saturday's contest. While he'll need to get things back on track to have significant trade value, it's hard to imagine a scenario where July comes around and a contender is not interested in adding Goldschmidt for the stretch run.

If Goldschmidt ends up being the best bat available on the market, he could bring back the Cardinals a really nice prospect or solid package in return, but I do think that St. Louis would try to do "right by Goldschmidt" by sending him somewhere he would like to go.

While Goldschmidt will be missed, if the Cardinals are taking a step back, it doesn't make a ton of sense for Goldschmidt or the Cardinals to have him on the roster. I'll dive into what the Cardinals' offense could look like in 2025 should they retool, and I think you may be surprised how fun that lineup still looks.