The Cardinals should package Nolan Arenado and Ryan Helsley if they want a quick rebuild

After another bad start, the Cardinals look to be heading towards another fire sale at the deadline. In order to maximize their return, they should look into packaging Nolan Arenado and Ryan Helsley together.
Chicago White Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Joe Puetz/GettyImages

The Cardinals are finally playing better baseball, but have much to prove to fans over the next few weeks to turn their season around.

During this homestand, the Cardinals will face the Red Sox, Orioles, and Cubs, all teams that have been competitive this year. Meanwhile, Saturday's win against the Red Sox put the Cardinals at 20-25, good for fourth place in the NL Central.

This next stretch of games will define where the Cardinals are headed this season, and if it goes poorly, then the Cardinals are likely looking at selling again at the trade deadline. Not only that, but they'll have to engage in a rebuild of sorts, trading away some valuable pieces including Nolan Arenado and Ryan Helsley.

Derrick Goold mentioned that Helsley is somebody who could net them a big return, but if the Cardinals want to rebuild successfully and quickly, they're going to have to do the unthinkable: package Helsey and Arenado in one deal.

Cardinals should package Arenado and Helsley in one deal

Sadly, unless Paul Goldschmidt starts to hit better and actually build off of Sunday's two-hit game, he likely isn't going anywhere, and his trade value will continue to plummet. Arenado and Helsley on the other hand could be high-value pieces to trade.

Goold compared a possible trade of Helsley to the rebuild the Yankees initiated back in 2016, and I think that's a fair comparison. But if the Cardinals package Arenado and Helsley, just imagine what they could get in return. This wouldn't just be mere prospects, but Major League-ready talent that could help set the team up for success in the future.

But if the Cardinals are going to do this, which team would be able to give them the best returns?

To me, the Orioles are a team that should be considered here. Bob Nightengale listed Helsley as a potential option to beef up the Orioles' bullpen at the deadline.

Unfortunately, no, the Cardinals aren't going to get Jackson Holliday out of a potential deal. I don't see the Orioles wanting to part with him. But they still have some good pieces that could be of use to St. Louis.

At least one of Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad would likely have to be included here. I can also see the Cardinals potentially even asking for Grayson Rodriguez. That part will be tough, but packaging Arenado and Helsley in the same deal would allow the Cardinals a little bit of leverage to choose who they want from the Orioles.

Yes, both Cowser and Kjerstad are outfielders, but adding one or both of them could open the door for the Cardinals to move Jordan Walker back to his natural spot at third base, or even shift Tommy Edman back to the infield.

The Cardinals and Orioles also have a recent history of making trades with one another, with the Jack Flaherty deal being an example. We'll have to see what happens as the season goes on, but this is worth considering if the Cardinals aren't in contention.