Cardinals: 3 possible starting pitching targets the team could get by trade

Pablo Lopez
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Blake Snell
Blake Snell / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

Veteran lefty Blake Snell would add grit to rotation

Blake Snell is in the final season of this five-year, $50 million contract after being traded to San Diego from the Tampa Bay Rays in 2021. While Snell has been a veteran asset for the Padres rotation, the club seems to be taking on more offensive assets in Xander Bogaerts, Manny Machado, and Fernando Tatis, Jr. After a trade that allowed the Padres to acquire Juan Soto, the team may seek to shed some payroll to make it easier to sign him long-term.

With Snell in the final season of his current contract, the Padres could move him. If the Cardinals were to make a successful offer for the lefty, the team would get a veteran lefty with a 36.6-percent ground-ball rate.

Snell was 8-10 in 24 games in 2022. He threw in 128 innings and struck out 171 batters. Snell's pitches include a four-seam fastball, a change-up, a curveball, and a slider. He doesn't have the best record but would likely see some improvement with a better defense behind him.

The real benefit of trading for Snell would be signing him to a longer-term deal. This is a bargaining chip Mozeliak likes to use in hopes the target falls in love with St. Louis and plays in front of the Cardinal faithful.