The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t done much this offseason, but the moves they’ve made have strengthened the core of a team destined for World Series contenders in the coming seasons. And sometimes, that alone can make offseason work a success.
The Cardinals’ two big moves include signing star catcher Wilson Contreras to a five-year, $87.5 million deal and re-signing longtime ace Adam Wainwright to return for the final season in 2023. is included. Albert his Pujols and Yadier Molina retirements are certainly looming large. , as with the departure of Jose Quintana in free agency, this team is in a good place.
Of course, no team is perfect. It makes sense that the Cardinals will continue to look for ways to improve their roster this offseason. One possible avenue is through the trade market. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the perfect trades the Cardinals can make this offseason and why it’s going to pay them big.
cardinals perfect offseason trade
Acquire Pablo Lopez from Marlins
The Cardinals knew their rotation needed some work midway through the 2022 campaign, so they decided to trade the pair of Quintana and Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline. These two additions of his helped the Cardinals to the top of the National League Central. They were on fire in the playoffs, but it’s clear that these moves have strengthened the areas they needed most.
In a way, the cardinals didn’t have to keep Quintana. The front of their rotation is pretty solid, with Miles Mikolas leading alongside Wainwright and Montgomery. Dakota Hudson and Stephen Matz round out, but can be upgraded. That leads to Pablo Lopez, one of the best pitchers on the trade market this offseason.
Lost in the greatness that came from Sandy Alcantara’s Cy Young campaign, Lopez loomed over as a credible number 2 starter that gave the Miami Marlins a sneaky good duo to lead their rotation. However, the Marlins have made a trade offer for Lopez again this offseason, and the Cardinals seem like the perfect team to swoop in and make a deal for him.
Lopez is having the most complete season of his career in 2022 (10-10, 3.75 ERA, 174kg ERA, 1.17 WHIP) and has proven he can stay fit for a full season. Considering he hadn’t made more than 21 starts in his pre-2022 season, this is a team considering Lopez when he made his 32 starts. is a big problem for
Given the potential trade with Lopez, there are many things I like about Lopez. First, he’s still pretty young, and he’s not even in his prime yet, as he’ll only be 27 by the time the 2023 season begins. He’s also under the team’s control for two more seasons, which means he’ll be a steal until he becomes a free agent after the 2024 season.
The Cardinals’ rotation is decent as is, but they definitely want another top-end starter in Lopez. Mikolas, Wainwright and Montgomery are good as his second or his third starters, so they don’t have true aces. Lopez himself doesn’t have to be an ace, but when he’s at his best, he’s one of the best pitchers in the game.
Lopez’s arrival is undoubtedly expensive, but he’s a worthwhile investment given how good he proved early on in his career and that he still has a lot of room to grow. The Cardinals want to stay on the road to becoming a true World Series contender, and while other teams like the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies are loading, they have to be aggressive. must be
The addition of Lopez gives the Cardinals a very deep rotation, while Mats or Hudson can hang around as extra starters when someone inevitably gets injured. It doesn’t matter, you’ll need it somewhere at some point throughout the 162-game season.
The Cardinals haven’t done much this offseason, but it doesn’t really matter because the roster is in a good spot. Pulled off a move and was able to prove their average business in the NL, a chalk-filled contender. Clearly, trading is the perfect move.