ST. LOUIS — With just under a month before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, some teams still want to round out their rosters. Among those teams looking around for possible trade partners, are the St. Louis Cardinals who are looking for pitching. And lucky for them, the Miami Marlins have pitching they’re looking to unload in favor of some offense.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote earlier this week, “Of all the teams that could benefit from a trade for Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo López, the St. Louis Cardinals would rank near the top of the list.”
Why? Well, for starters, the Cards have four starting pitchers who will be free agents at the end of 2023, or in the case of Adam Wainwright who will be retiring once the season ends.
López, who turns 27 in March, will be under team control for two more years. Secondly, the Cardinals have a number of players they can trade to Miami to fill the Marlins’ need for offense.
The two teams last pulled off a big trade in 2017 when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna for Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen, Daniel Castano, and Magneuris Sierra but that particular deal didn’t work out so well for the Cardinals. Some fear the Cardinals could be a bit gunshy because of it.
J.D. Hafron, host of the Locked On Cardinals podcast said, “Just because one trade didn’t work out doesn’t mean you should stop trading altogether.”
He added, “The Cardinals when they’re involved in trades, it works out more times than not.”
López has pitched to a 3.52 ERA in just over 340 innings and is arbitration-eligible through the 2024 season. He’s also just making $5.45M in salary, and the Cardinals let people know they were willing to spend more and increase their $163M payroll from 2022.
As for the players the Cardinals could part with, they have a few outfielders up for grabs like Tyler O’Neill, Dylan Carlson, and Lars Nootbaar. Out of those three players, Nootbaar seems to be the one who is the least likely to be traded.
He’s under team control for five more years. And while top prospect Jordan Walker probably won’t be traded, the Cardinals have a couple of players—Alec Burleson and Moises Gomez—who both performed well in the high Minors.
It was reported that the two teams had at least preliminary discussions about a possible trade so this isn’t just speculation; a move could happen sooner than later. Will it be a good one for the Cardinals this time? Only time will tell.