The Cardinals have proven exactly who they are, and the roster is too flawed to be invested in

The Cardinals have now lost two straight series and have dropped four of their last five. They've proven exactly who they are and why it isn't worth investing in this year's roster
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros
St. Louis Cardinals v Houston Astros / Logan Riely/GettyImages

The Cardinals have now dropped four of their last five games and two consecutive series after winning five in a row and getting back to .500. They entered Wednesday's series finale with the Astros three games below .500 and seven games back of first place in the NL Central.

As it turns out, the Cardinals are not back to their old winning ways and instead are bottoming out again. These recent losses have only confirmed what most fans already knew, that this is exactly who the Cardinals are.

Not only that, but the roster has too many flaws, and it's not worth trying to fix them at the trade deadline.

Cardinals have proven who they are, and buying at the deadline won't save them

I don't want to be negative. Believe me when I say I will root hard for the Cardinals to win every game, no matter how good or bad things are. But even when they were winning, it was clear to me that this is not their year.

It just isn't. Sure, they could buy at the trade deadline, but what suggests that John Mozeliak and company are going to make the big moves that will turn this team into a World Series contender? I'm afraid there's no evidence pointing to that.

If they do buy, they'll likely only make incremental improvements to patch holes rather than actually improve the team. And while those moves won't cost major prospects, is it really worth giving up minor-league depth just to patch holes? I think not.

If you patch one hole, others remain, and the team still isn't a World Series contender. This year's edition of the club was never meant to be that. It wasn't built that way.

We've talked a lot on the site about how the Cardinals will likely sell at the deadline. I think these recent losses only confirm what we already knew to be true.

There isn't much to be excited about in the pipeline, and as much as fans don't want to hear it, if they give up top prospects, there won't be much insurance at the minor league level if something goes wrong. Such has been the case with the fifth starter spot after Steven Matz went down.

So this year, the Cardinals should stock up on young talent and try to improve the farm system. That way, they can invest in the roster in the offseason.

It's also time to stop trying to build around Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Arenado likely has lost trade value with his recent struggles, but Goldschmidt is on an expiring contract, and it would make sense for the Cardinals to try to get something for him so they don't just lose him in free agency.

The guys they need to build around are the young guys like Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn, and Jordan Walker. Not trading Goldschmidt would be making a similar mistake to the one the Angels did last year with Shohei Ohtani, though on a reduced scale given Goldschmidt's age.

But we have to be honest about the way things are. The window to win is stuck, and the only way to reopen it is for major changes to be made. That means new leadership in the front office and in the dugout. We may not get all of that this year, but that's the only way the Cardinals can get things going again.

St. Louis can't just keep running it back with the same guys they've had for the past several years and hope that they can make a surprise run like in 2006 and 2011. Those days are long gone.

Investing in this year's roster just doesn't make sense. Sure, you could improve the team for this year, but what about recapturing that sustained success from last decade? No changes will mean that the Cardinals remain stuck in the middle without a clear direction.

So, it's time to wave the white flag on 2024. I don't think a total teardown is necessary, but certain players should be traded.