Three trade deadline deals that together make the Cardinals a postseason threat

If the Cardinals made these three moves at the deadline, they'd have a chance to make some noise in October.
San Diego Padres v Texas Rangers
San Diego Padres v Texas Rangers / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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Let's start off with a small move to vastly improve a major weakness

grichuk

The first move on the list won't steal any headlines, but for the Cardinals, bringing back Randal Grichuk to help their lineup against left-handed pitching could pay major dividends.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are likely sellers at this year's deadline, and although Grichuk has a mutual option for 2025, I think the club will be inclined to move their platoon bat for some future value. I went with Luken Baker in this scenario, partially driven by the Diamondbacks potentially losing first baseman Christian Walker in free agency this coming offseason. Maybe it's someone like Ryan Loutos, Drew Rom, or Adam Kloffenstein instead, but I don't think it will take much to get Grichuk in return.

So why would he be so valuable for St. Louis? The 32-year-old has been relegated to a part-time role where he is primarily used against left-handed pitching, and boy has he excelled in that role. In his 145 total plate appearances this year, Grichuk is slashing .292/.352/.462, good for a 129 wRC+ and has already racked up 0.8 WAR in that small of a sample size. Against left-handed pitching, where 66% of those plate appearances have come from, Grichuk has a .827 OPS and 134 wRC+.

For context, only three players on the Cardinals' roster have a wRC+ above 100 against left-handed pitchers this year, while they have eight hitters with a 100 wRC+ or higher against right-handed pitching. Their lineup against right-handers is more than good enough, but they could really use a reinforcement against those lefties.

John Mozeliak has already mentioned how a right-handed bat who can play some center field may be a good fit for this roster, and I see Grichuk as an excellent fit for that need. It would allow the Cardinals to play Grichuk in center and Tommy Edman at second base against lefties if they desire, or they could sit someone like Lars Nootbaar or Alec Burleson against southpaws and have Grichuk take their at-bats.

Even if it's not Grichuk, I wrote about a variety of right-handed bats the Cardinals could target to upgrade their lineup on Sunday. While there are some players who would surely cost more on that list, someone like Kevin Pillar or Tommy Pham could be an alternative for St. Louis if needed.

I really like the fit that Grichuk would have on this roster and think if the price point is low, it is worth swinging a deal for him.