Cardinals: Trade negotiations reveal who the Cardinals value the most

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals showed their hand recently in who they value the most among their young core.

For months now, there has been so much speculation among St. Louis Cardinals fans as to which of their young players they may be most willing to deal in a trade. Names like Lars Nootbaar, Nolan Gorman, Dylan Carlson, and more have been thrown around in trade rumors, whether it was the Juan Soto sweepstakes or their interest in a catcher.

Since the Soto saga ended and the Cardinals secured their new catcher in the form of Willson Contreras, we have been give a lot more information about who the Cardinals are willing to part with to improve their roster, and which young players they are not looking to move. And honestly, this may be a bit surprising to many.

The Cardinals offered Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson in the Sean Murphy trade

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Oakland Athletics were seeking a package of Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, and Gordon Graceffo in any Sean Murphy trade, which was declined by the Cardinals brass. This makes a lot of sense, as the package of the three would be too much for a catcher even of Murphy's caliber,

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic followed up that story with some sourcing of his own, which shed even more light onto who exactly the Cardinals valued within their organization.

""The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing a source, reported the A’s sought a return from the Cardinals that included outfielder Lars Nootbaar, Gold Glove-winner Brendan Donovan and a power young pitcher like Gordon Graceffo. However, another source briefed on the talks said the A’s wanted Nootbaar or Donovan plus Graceffo. The Cardinals were unwilling to trade any of those players, and instead wanted the A’s to choose two from a group of four consisting of outfielder Dylan Carlson, second baseman Nolan Gorman, outfielder Alec Burleson and first baseman Juan Yepez.""

Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

Okay, this is very interesting. There are conflicting reports about whether or not the A's asked for all three of Nootbaar, Donovan, and Graceffo or just one of Nootbaar or Donovan and Graceffo, but either way, the club showed a lot of willingness to deal guys like Dylan Carlson or Nolan Gorman, who many believed to be valued higher than Nootbaar or Donovan in the organization.

You may have your own preference or rankings of the Cardinals young position players, but what we do know now is that St. Louis sees Nootbaar and Donovan as key parts of their future, and would be willing to part with other young position players before dealing those two. Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn's names have not come up in any reports, and that is likely because the Cardinals value those two even higher.

The Cardinals negotiations with the Blue Jays for catcher Danny Jansen shed even more light into just how highly they value Nootbaar specifically.