Famous Cardinals trade should provide a framework for upcoming moves

Back in 2007, the Cardinals traded Jim Edmonds for David Freese. Trades like this one should provide the framework for upcoming moves.
St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Six
St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Six / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The popular consensus early on this season is that the Cardinals will be sellers at the trade deadline.

Obviously, we have a long way to go before the deadline actually comes, and things could change. Plus, the Cardinals just won their series with the Angels, so you could make a case that the team is turning it around.

Still, they're playing the Angels, a team not expected to contend, and one without Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. More than anything, it's a break in the schedule.

This means that more than likely, the Cardinals will be sellers. Even those on Foul Territory think it's the likely course of action.

So, as sellers, the Cardinals are going to have to trade some big pieces, not just guys on expiring contracts.

Whether it's John Mozeliak or somebody else leading the charge, there is one trade in particular that should provide the framework.

Famous Cardinals trade should provide deadline framework

The trade in question took place in December of 2007 when Mozeliak had just stepped into the general manager's role. It wasn't popular at the time, and it signaled the end of the MV3 era of Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, and Jim Edmonds.

In fact, it was Edmonds himself who was traded, sent to the Padres for a top prospect. That prospect was none other than St. Louis native David Freese, and it's safe to say the Cardinals won that deal.

At the time though, it was hard to say goodbye to Edmonds, a fan favorite and postseason hero, and the move represented a changing of the guard. It's time the Cardinals pull a page out of their 2007 book and make at least one or two moves similar to this.

While Mozeliak has made mistakes in recent years, this move was not one of them. He understood that the Cardinals needed to build around other pieces. Edmonds was aging and near the end of his career.

Such is the case right now with guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Goldschmidt is in the final year of his contract and will be 37 in September. Arenado has a few years left, but he's 33, and it's time the Cardinals get it into their heads that these aren't the guys to build around anymore.

Times have changed. The brand of the Cardinals has changed. No longer are they the model of consistency that they once were. But that doesn't mean the future isn't bright.

Players like Brendan Donovan, Masyn Winn, Jordan Walker, and Nolan Gorman have emerged. These are the guys to build around. These are the players that are going to help get the Cardinals back to where they need to be. Goldschmidt and Arenado are still great players, but they are starting to decline as well, and it's time to look toward the future.

It worked with the Edmonds-Freese deal. We know what ended up happening there. Freese carried the Cardinals to a World Series title, leading the charge from 10.5 games back in the Wild Card race and earning NLCS and World Series MVP honors. Without that trade, the Cardinals would not have been in the World Series in 2011.

Saying goodbye to Goldschmidt and Arenado will be tough, but it's time for tough decisions to be made and for the next generation of stars to grace the Cardinals with their presence and lead the team into a new era, one that hopefully includes even more success.

It's the only way for them to come out of the rut they've put themselves in over the past few years and give the team a fresh look.