What if? 4 blockbuster trades the Cardinals almost made over the last two decades

What if the Cardinals made different moves these past twenty or so seasons?
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Matt Brown/GettyImages
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What If: the Cardinals traded a frustrated outfielder for a future Hall of Famer?

Colby Rasmus was just a prospect in the 2007 offseason. He was a good prospect, but still a prospect nonetheless. The Cardinals were intent on keeping him to roam the grass for years to come. He was a true five-tool player, and St. Louis wanted to hoard his talents.

Rasmus's debut wouldn't come until 2009, and he would eventually be a part of a trade that would land the Cardinals Edwin Jackson, a pitcher who helped the team win the 2011 World Series. Four years prior to the 2011 trade of Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals could have landed a future Hall of Famer.

In 2007, there were reports that the Cardinals dangled Colby Rasmus and Jaime Garcia for then-twenty-four-year-old outfielder Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera was playing for the Florida Marlins at the time, and he was voted into the previous four All-Star Games (2004-2007). Cabrera played primarily third base and left field in the early and mid-2000s, but a move to first base was nigh for him.

If St. Louis had traded for Cabrera before the 2008 season, the Detroit Tigers would not have seen the success they did, and the Cardinals would have had two world-class players on the corners of the infield for a very long time. Cabrera wasn't the best defensively at the hot corner, but he was one of the best right-handed hitters of all time. Having Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the lineup would have made the heart of St. Louis's lineup even more daunting.

However, a trade for Miguel Cabrera would have inhibited a trade for Matt Holliday in 2009. Colby Ramus wouldn't have been used to get Edwin Jackson, so perhaps the 2011 World Series Championship is a figment of our imagination in this world, and Jaime Garcia isn't traded to the Braves anymore for John Gant. This potential trade has perhaps the most ramifications for the most teams.