Sometimes, you have to give something to get something in return. The Cardinals could move some popular players to meet their needs during the hot stove season. That need is "pitching, pitching, pitching."
The Cardinals have a lofty goal to get "at least three" starting pitchers this offseason. The Cardinals ended the 2023 season in last place with a decades-worst record of 71-91. Cardinal fans may have to stomach letting go of some of their talented young players to get some top-tier pitching talent.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes one of the teams the Cardinals could end up being trade partners with is the Mariners.
Goold reported that while the Cardinals need pitching, the Mariners are looking for offense. "The Mariners have pitching depth to make other teams envious," Goold said. "The Cardinals are looking for pitchers. The Cardinals do have some offensive depth to use in trades."
That depth could include players like outfielders Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson. Other players considered a trade chip include Brendan Donovan, Alec Burleson, and Luken Baker.
Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto believes each team is looking for pitching this offseason. The Mariners have talented young arms, including Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, George Kirby, and Bryan Woo.
While answering questions during the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., DiPoto appeared stand-offish about dealing from their pitching depth to improve their offense. "I don’t know that moving (a starter) is in the cards for us this year,” DiPoto told reporters. “You know, we don’t want to eat away at that depth.” He seemed against trading Gilbert, referring to him as the "consummate Mariner."
DiPoto usually makes a splashy move or two this time of year. The Mariners fought until the last day of the season to make the playoffs, ultimately losing out to the World Series champion Rangers. The Mariners went 88-74, ending the season in third place in the AL West. It would seem reasonable that DiPoto wants to make some moves to improve their chances of making it further in the AL West and the playoffs.
Not making moves makes it appear DiPoto wants to be in the mix but only does some of what it takes to reach the ultimate goal of winning the World Series. Julio Rodriguez is a once-in-a-lifetime, unique talent. They signed him through 2029 with a seven-year, $119.3 million contract. He's the type of player you'd like to see succeed.
This offseason may be their best shot at improving their roster, given the amount of pitching the team does have available. It will be fun to see if the Cardinals' president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak, could make an offer. DiPoto can not refuse to net one of their young arms.