Ranking the 10 starting pitchers that the Cardinals should explore trading for

The Cardinals will likely swing a trade for one of their rotation upgrades this offseason. Which arms should they prioritize the most?
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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6. Braxton Garrett

When fans and media talk about the Marlins' best arms, the conversation usually stops and ends with Eury Perez, Sandy Alcantara, Jesus Luzardo, and Edward Cabrera, but what about lefty Braxton Garrett?

There is a legitimate argument that Garrett is their third or fourth most valuable arm at the moment. With Alcantara coming off a down year and now set to miss all of 2024 as well, his stock has dropped significantly. Perez is a future ace and isn't going anywhere, and Luzardo is set to be their number two starter for the next few seasons so there is no reason to deal him either. Garrett kind of flew under the radar in 2022 and 2023.

This year, Garrett threw 159.2 innings with a 3.66 ERA, coming off of a 2022 season where he posted a 3.58 ERA in 88 innings. He isn't a flashy starter, but he knows how to pitch, and his underlying metrics like FIP and xFIP indicate his success is real.

Garrett still has five years of club control remaining, which will inflate his value quite a bit in trades. That's honestly where I see this becoming a difficult sell to me, as I think Miami will want more in return than the Cardinals will be comfortable offering. When you have a dependable starter with a ton of control, you don't trade that away for an average bat. I'm guessing they'll want a Brendan Donovan or Nolan Gorman, but if the Cardinals can swing a deal centered around one of their assets that are a tier below those guys, it may be worth it.

Garrett could comfortably slot in as the Cardinals' number three starter for years to come, which would be a tremendous addition for them long-term. I think with how dire their need is to turn this around this season though, they should focus more on targeting guys with less control and more talent rather than paying for the extra years of control.