Will teams still be interested in Ryan Helsley if the Cardinals keep winning?

The Cardinals appear to be in buy mode thanks to their recent surge. But could teams still be interested in Ryan Helsley, even if they keep winning?
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

After beating the drum on the Cardinals needing to sell at the trade deadline, I've changed my opinion.

With the Cardinals playing much better baseball, they have proven that they are indeed a team worth investing in at the deadline. There are a lot of holes, no doubt, but it's worth filling them, especially after last year's debacle.

Before the Cardinals began to turn things around, I was all for the idea of trading Ryan Helsley to get a massive haul in return and potentially restock the farm system with some Major League-ready arms. Now, it wouldn't make sense to trade Helsley, as he's the Major League leader in saves.

But even with the Cardinals playing much better, is it still possible that teams could show interest in Helsley? Could the Cardinals still be tempted by an offer that blows them out of the water?

Could teams still show interest in Ryan Helsley if the Cardinals keep winning?

The short answer is yes, Helsley could still generate some interest from other contending teams. But with the Cardinals playing good baseball, it's unlikely that they'll be willing to part with him, or so it seems.

Jeff Jones recently joined the "Dealin' the Cards" podcast and discussed the possibility. He stated that if the Cardinals were going to trade Helsley while in contention, they would have to be completely blown away by the offer. And because they're in contention now, it doesn't make sense to trade the Major League saves leader, especially if they want to add instead of subtract.

But this is where I get a little bit worried. Recall back in 2022 when the Brewers traded Josh Hader. Under normal circumstances, a team wouldn't trade their All-Star closer if they were contending. But the Brewers were completely blown away by the offer they got from the Padres.

You also have to keep in mind how the Cardinals operate compared to other teams. When the Cardinals make big trades, they often don't end up giving up a whole lot. They didn't really give up much for Paul Goldschmidt and the same is true with Nolan Arenado. You could say that John Mozeliak completely fleeced the Diamondbacks and the Rockies.

The Padres gave the Brewers a haul when they traded for Hader, and the Orioles did the same in the Corbin Burnes deal. The Padres and Orioles were obviously more aggressive than the Cardinals have been in making big trades.

That being said, a team could very well give the Cardinals such an offer for Helsley. While they don't operate the same way the Brewers do and have more financial resources, there could still be a team that gives the Cardinals an offer they can't pass up.

The Orioles proved their willingness to be aggressive in the Corbin Burnes deal. The Yankees did the same in the Juan Soto deal, and the Dodgers are always going to be aggressive when making big trades. These are the teams I worry about. It's also worth mentioning that the Padres still wanted to contend when they traded Soto.

Unfortunately, it might be more likely than you think that a team wants to go all in to acquire Helsley. And because Jones proposed that idea, however unlikely it may seem, it's very possible.

But if they're going to do it and stay in win-now mode like the Brewers did with the Hader deal, they have to compensate by making a big move of their own and going out to potentially acquire a top-level starter or another big bat to bolster the lineup.

It would be similar to what the Mariners did last year, trading Paul Sewald but also adding other pieces to improve their roster at the same time. This is a big deadline for Mozeliak.