Baltimore Orioles: Cole Irvin, LHP
The Baltimore Orioles, much like the Cardinals, are looking to beef up their rotation in 2024, making the two teams unlikely to be trade partners. If the Cardinals were to make a trade with the Orioles, it would likely be for a player in Baltimore's top-rated farm system, not someone on the major league roster. However, one player the Orioles could be looking to flip is left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin, who started 12 games for the Orioles in 2023 and came out of the bullpen in his other 12 appearances.
Baltimore left Irvin off of their playoff roster after a season where he had a 4.42 ERA, but he was more successful as a reliever, with an ERA of 3.26 as opposed to 4.81 when starting games. Irvin is not a fireballer, but he has shown an ability to induce weak contact, with a hard-hit rate of only 34.6%. The Cardinals have stated that they are looking for strikeout stuff, but if their infield defense can rebound, a pitcher like Irvin could still have a place on the team.
If the Cardinals were to acquire Irvin, he would likely serve as a long reliever or spot starter from the left side if Zack Thompson is given a spot in the rotation.
Boston Red Sox: Tanner Houck, RHP
The Boston Red Sox recently fired Chaim Bloom, who headed their front office, so how aggressive they'll be on the market remains to be seen. The Red Sox are one of many teams searching for pitching help, as their rotation struggled throughout the season. Although pitching is a weak spot for Boston, according to an article in The Athletic, the Red Sox could be searching for a suitor for Tanner Houck.
Houck, a St. Louis native who attended the University of Missouri, was a piece of the Red Sox' rotation for much the 2023 season, although he missed some time after a batted ball hit him in the face and caused a fracture. Houck's 5.01 ERA was less than stellar, but he induced ground balls at a career-high rate of 53.3%. At 27 and with a contract not reaching arbitration until 2025, Houck could entice the Cardinals to take a look at him.
The Red Sox' biggest need outside of pitching is behind the plate. Ivan Herrera is a prime candidate for the Cardinals to deal given the presence of Willson Contreras and Andrew Knizner, so a trade involving Herrera and Houck could pay dividends for both teams.