In the most recent episode of The Baseball Insiders', FanSided's MLB Insider Robert Murray dished on what he learned at the General Manager meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Murray's main takeaway is that the trade market for starting pitching this offseason will be incredibly active.
Murray confirmed the St. Louis Cardinals will be one of those active teams after speaking with the Cardinals' president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak. The insider believes it may be difficult for the Cardinals to get two top-of-the-line starting pitchers. But he doesn't rule out the Cardinals getting multiple starting pitchers, suggesting Mozeliak could make one big move and go from there.
Murray believes one of those moves could involve the Blue Jays. The two teams were partners for deals at the trade deadline in August that included the Cardinals netting young arms in Matt Svanson, Adam Kloffenstein, and Sem Robberse for Paul DeJong and Jordan Hicks.
Murray said the two teams are still potential trade partners. "I believe there is a real fit between the Blue Jays and the Cardinals as far as a move," Murray said.
The insider believes the primary target for the Cardinals would be Alex Manoah, who had a rocky end to his 2023 season after getting demoted to the Blue Jays Florida Complex League team.
Manoah was 9-2 with an ERA of 3.22 in 2021 and 16-7 with an ERA of 2.24 in 2022, when he was an All-Star for the club. He was 3-9 in 19 games with a 6.29 ERA in 2023. During his demotion to the FCL team, Manoah compiled a record of 0-1 over 2.2 innings in one game. He had a 37.13 ERA.
Those are not great numbers and make one curious why the Cardinals would want to bring that into the fold after they had an equally disastrous 2023 season.
The answer is pretty simple. Murray points out that Manoah is a prime candidate for a change in scenery. The Cardinals need pitching, even if it is an arm they have to take a gamble on in hopes he has a massive comeback in 2023.
Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins told reporters at the GM meetings he was excited about Manoah's potential comeback.
If the Cardinals move to get Manoah, their hope for a comeback for the one-time All-Star and Cy Young finalist must be high. The Cardinals have a plethora of new, young pitching talent. If Manoah is moved to the Cardinals and makes a comeback, he could be a nice piece for the Cardinals in rebuilding their winning ways.
It could be great for Manoah and the Cardinals.