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Can the Cardinals buy and sell at the same time?

2023 London Series Workout Day Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With a 31-44 record, the Cardinals remain in last place in the NL Central and towards the bottom of the National League. They’re now 9.5 games behind the Reds in the division, despite having won four of six games on their road trip to New York and Washington.

There is no clear direction on what path they’ll take at the trade deadline in terms of buying or selling. With the current record, selling looks more likely.

But what if there’s a way for the Cardinals to buy and sell at the same time? We’ll examine a few ways they can go about this should they find a way to gain a little bit of ground in the NL Central.

Scenario 1

I was listening to BK & Ferrario on 101 ESPN the other day, and they were talking about the possibility of acquiring Dylan Cease. In that segment, they posed the question of which players they would be willing to deal in order to land somebody like Cease.

Obviously, it’s going to take a big haul for them to pull this off. The two radio hosts proposed the idea of giving the White Sox the option of choosing two of four players, one of Lars Nootbaar and Dylan Carlson, and one of Tommy Edman and Brendan Donovan.

Obviously, we don’t know if the White Sox will take that offer should the Cardinals present it, but it seems like a reasonable haul. They would be selling off a few pieces while also adding a much-needed arm.

Scenario 2

Last week, Greg Amsinger of MLB Network made a guest appearance on 101 ESPN and discussed the possibility of shaking things up in a big way. He proposed the idea of trading Paul Goldschmidt, whether the Cardinals are in the mix or well behind.

I must say that if the Cardinals are in the mix, then there is no reason for them to even entertain the idea of shopping Goldschmidt. But let’s say for a minute that they get back in the race and ultimately choose to sell of the reigning MVP.

As Amsinger noted, this could give the team a major shakeup and also get them a pretty good haul. And if they’re still in the mix, it could get them one or two pitchers at the deadline. This would allow them to buy and sell at the same time.

It’s also worth noting that Goldschmidt is in his age 35 season and will be a free agent after 2024, so he’s not exactly part of the long-term plan. If the Cardinals are out of contention, Goldschmidt could get them some prospects and even some Major League-ready talent.

Scenario 3

On Thursday, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi pointed out that the Cardinals could pull off a swap with the Mariners. He noted that the Mariners have young pitchers, while the Cardinals have young hitters. Each side needs what the other currently has.

In that case, the Cardinals could deal off somebody like Juan Yepez, Tyler O’Neill, Alec Burleson, Paul DeJong, or even Dylan Carlson. Depending on what they were to give up, and also depending on where they are in the standings, the team could get one of Bryce Miller, Bryan Woo, Marco Gonzalez, or even Logan Gilbert. I think George Kirby is unlikely to be moved.

But if the Cardinals are looking at buying and selling at the same time, Edman or Donovan could get them a haul. Nootbaar could also be considered here. If one of those three are dealt, then it’s possible the Cardinals could get an arm with high upside that could help their rotation.

If they go for Miller, that would seem like more of a move towards the future, but I think it could be a segway for some other moves that could be made to add to the club.

The deadline is approaching and this current stretch of games will define the Cardinals season.