The Cardinals’ bullpen could use a boost
One reason that St. Louis may be leaving starters in longer than they should is due to some depth issues in their bullpen. Ryan Helsey and Chris Stratton have been legitimately good in 2023 and Geovany Gallegos has been consistent, but the rest of the bullpen is full of guys with 4-5 ERAs that either don’t miss bats or miss some bats, but walk too many guys.
St. Louis is going to be far from alone at the deadline as basically every team that has any aspirations of contending is going to be looking for bullpen arms. Scott Barlow, Aroldis Chapman, Keynan Middleton, and Reynaldo Lopez are among the more interesting candidates among teams that seem like they are going to be sellers so far with that list likely to grow considerably as we get closer to the deadline.
Maybe an outfield bat?
This one is a bit more speculative as it depends a lot on what goes on with Tyler O’Neil who could get moved at the deadline regardless of whether the Cards are in contention or not. Jordan Walker’s performance in the lead-up to the deadline will matter a lot as well. Walker’s ceiling is astronomically high, but if he is struggling in his first look in the big leagues come mid-July, St. Louis’ production from their outfield corps may need a short term boost.
The outfield bat trade market unfortunately isn’t nearly as robust as other positions. Joc Pederson is one potential option if the Giants decide to sell (which is looking unlikely at the moment) with Michael Conforto being another possible option if St. Louis is willing to pony up for the extra year of team control that he would bring. Randall Grichuk is hitting at a decent clip with little power, so maybe a reunion makes sense in some situation?
If you are in the mood for dreaming big, the Padres have been a disappointment this season and if Juan Soto becomes available…well, he will probably be too expensive to trade for, but it is fun to think about as a pie-in-the-sky option.