Here is a pretty wild trade proposal from Chris Lollis, who does an incredible job running Cardinals 24/7, and you should give them a follow or join their Facebook group. In case you can't see all of the pieces in the screenshot he provided, the trade would be:
Cardinals receive: Logan Gilbert and Robbie Ray
Mariners receieve: Brendan Donovan, Dylan Carlson, Gordon Graceffo, and Luken Baker
I've gone back and forth on how I feel about this, and overall, I think it's a very creative way for St. Louis to upgrade their rotation while not having to part with a bunch of significant assets. I think the Cardinals would have to eat all of Ray's contract here, but I see why that can make a lot of sense.
Gilbert is cost-controlled through the 2027 season, so the Cardinals are adding a cheap, front-of-the-rotation talent to their rotation for a long time. Ray is coming off Tommy John surgery, so it's an opportunity for the Mariners to move off a huge contract, and the for Cardinals to add another dynamic arm to their rotation.
This would give St. Louis a rotation of:
That is quite the facelift from 2023!
Gray's contract being front-loaded gives the Cardinals the flexibility to absorb Ray's contract this year, and have both Gibson and Lynn to cover innings while he works his way back. After this season, Lynn and Gibson come off the books, so his salary would not be as much to take on, and the Cardinals can look to move off Steven Matz and Tyler O'Neill to free up more salary.
I'm not sold on the Mariners' side of this unless they plan on going big game hunting in free agency. Even then I think they'd want Nolan Gorman over Brendan Donovan, but I really like this idea for the Cardinals.