2. Brendan Donovan
The #1 and #2 players on this list are virtually interchangeable in my mind. It all depends on what you prefer in your second baseman. Brendan Donovan provides strong offense with decent defense. He is primarily known for getting on base, but this past season he showed an ability to hit for power. While his on-base percentage dropped (.394 in 2022 to .365 in 2023), his slugging (.379 to .422) and home run totals (5 to 11) both took substantial jumps.
Donovan's value is increased even more due to his defensive versatility. He isn't elite at any one position, but he is capable at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield spots. Donovan even won the first-ever Utility Gold Glove Award in 2022. Donovan isn't the fastest player (42nd percentile in sprint speed), but he isn't a slouch in that regard either.
Brendan Donovan has four more years of team control, and he is only 26 years old. He is in the prime of his career, he has shown an ability to both get on base and hit for power, and he is able to play 6 positions well. Brendan Donovan is a top trade candidate that the Cardinals have to offer. He would easily bring back a top-of-the-rotation pitcher by himself. He ended the 2023 season with an injury, but he is expected to be back to full health by the time Spring Training rolls around.
Donovan feels like one of those players who could thrive in another city. Cardinals fans would understandably miss him, but hopefully, Mozeliak will be able to get a strong return should Donovan be traded this offseason.