While the Cardinals need to sell, they shouldn't completely blow up their roster

The Cardinals' deadline strategy is not yet clear. But if they sell, they shouldn't just blow up their roster
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Cardinals are at a critical juncture in the season. Following last night's win against the Rockies, they own a record of 30-32 and sit in fourth place in the NL Central.

That's obviously not ideal, and things aren't trending in the right direction for St. Louis.

I'm sure everybody's tired of hearing from me by now that the Cardinals should be sellers at the trade deadline. I get that. To many, it may seem obvious.

But let's assume they do sell for a moment. It's what they should ultimately do, as there are just too many flaws with this roster to actually invest in it. But selling should come with a major caveat.

The Cardinals should sell, but not blow up the roster entirely

Assuming the Cardinals sell at the deadline, they should not completely blow up the roster. That isn't necessary. It also would not sit well with the fans.

To me, selling seems likely, but there are a few players the Cardinals should hold onto.

Firstly, the Cardinals shouldn't trade any of their young guys such as Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Masyn Winn, or even Jordan Walker. I also think it would be foolish to trade Tommy Edman or Lars Nootbaar. These are the guys you want to build around for the future.

It's guys like Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, Ryan Helsley, JoJo Romero, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Andrew Kittredge who should be fair game.

That may seem like a bit of a blowup. But hear me out. The Cardinals should not trade Sonny Gray or Willson Contreras under any circumstances.

Why sell and not trade Gray and Contreras? Well, like I said, fans aren't going to be okay with a total rebuild, and I don't even think the DeWitt's or John Mozeliak would be either. They need at least some star players to keep the fans engaged and the glass half full. This could give them a chance to have a quick turnaround and be back in contention in 2025.

Think of it similarly to how the Yankees did their little rebuild in 2016. They kept a solid core in place while trading away big pieces and they were back in the playoffs in 2017. Yes, the Cardinals will need more to be a playoff team in 2025, but if they make the right moves at the deadline, a few key offseason moves could set them up to return to their old ways.