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Trade Deadline Predictions

Who will the Cardinals trade? How many players are leaving? Come make your predictions!

MLB: New York Yankees at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is exactly one week away, which means it’s time for some predictions. After a brief 8-2 stretch that had some questioning if the St. Louis Cardinals would remain committed to selling at the deadline, a lost series to the Cubs has all but guaranteed it (though it was likely guaranteed before that too).

So, who will still be with the Cardinals after the August 1st deadline? Who won’t? Who will be coming in? How many trades will the team make? This is what I want to predict and I want to hear your predictions too so after I give my thoughts on a question, I will include poll underneath for you to vote.

Let’s get started.

Will Jordan Montgomery AND Jack Flaherty Get Traded?

For me, there’s no point looking at the trade candidacy of these two pitchers individually. The Cardinals want reinforcements for their 2024 team and that’s not going to come from a compensation pick in next year’s draft. I’m about 100% sure that the Cardinals would prefer to trade these pitchers unless their simply isn’t enough of a market for them, which is unlikely.

That’s why I think both Montgomery and Flaherty will get traded, and, honestly, I’ll be surprised if one is still pitching in St. Louis on August 2nd and I would be utterly shocked if both were. The Cardinals want help for next year and these two arms should net a nice return even if they are both rentals.

My answer - Both Montgomery and Flaherty will get traded


Will Montgomery and Flaherty Get Traded?

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    Both Will Get Traded
    (2016 votes)
  • 8%
    Montgomery Only
    (218 votes)
  • 11%
    Flaherty Only
    (292 votes)
2526 votes total Vote Now

Will Tyler O’Neill Or Dylan Carlson Get Traded

I feel fairly confident that the Cardinals are committed to Lars Nootbaar and Jordan Walker in the outfield. That’s 2 of 3 spots with Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson vying for the final one, though it’s not much of a competition since the Cardinals named O’Neill the starting left fielder upon his return from the injured list. I also want to add that Alec Burleson has seen more plate appearances this year (222 PAs) than Dylan Carlson (216 PAs).

Carlson did miss about three weeks of time this year with a left ankle sprain but he’s pretty clearly been the odd man out this year. While that is the case, he also has more years of control than Tyler O’Neill and is much more comfortable in center field.

Choosing between the two players may be a difficult decision for the Cardinals if they do in fact want to trade one of them in an effort to get more pitching. Personally, I’m in favor of that move since that would be dealing from a surplus to fill a need. The question is - which outfielder will be traded, if one gets traded at all?

My money is on O’Neill. The Cardinals seem to be publicly annoyed about his inability to stay healthy and I would guess that putting O’Neill right back in the lineup after his latest IL stint is an effort to showcase him to other teams and boost his trade value.

That is purely speculation of course, but I’m going to guess that one of the two will get traded and that one will be Tyler O’Neill

My answer - Tyler O’Neill only


Will O’Neill or Carlson Get Traded

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Tyler O’Neill Only
    (1164 votes)
  • 26%
    Dylan Carlson Only
    (671 votes)
  • 18%
    Both Will Get Traded
    (467 votes)
  • 9%
    Neither Will Get Traded
    (232 votes)
2534 votes total Vote Now

How Many Relievers Will Get Traded?

I’ll go ahead and state my prediction up front. The Cardinals will trade 3 relievers although if VerHagen doesn’t have much of a market then it’ll be two. Chris Stratton seems a virtual lock to be traded considering the fact that he’s good and on an expiring contract.

Drew VerHagen is the same way, although he’ good. I still think there’s enough there for a team to think they can fix him and take a chance but if the Cardinals trade him it’ll be for a low level lottery ticket kind of prospect, similar to what they got for Genesis Cabrera but probably a bit better.

My real question is what they’ll do with Jordan Hicks. On one hand, he could bring a real nice return. He profiles as a better Pierce Johnson and Pierce Johnson just got traded for the Braves #10 prospect and #26 prospect. The Braves farm system isn’t exactly great anymore but that’s a solid return for a reliever on an expiring contract and Hicks should be worth more.

That’s why I expect the Cardinals to trade Hicks. I’m not certain though. In fact, I would put my expectation of a trade right around 60ish percent and that’s because Hicks coudl very well be an extension candidate, and, if he is, I would imagine the Cardinals want to hold onto him instead of trading him.

I’m willing to predict that he’ll get traded but he’s the one that I’m least certain about.

In regard to the other relievers, I don’t expect anyone else to get traded since they can help the team next year. Specifically, I’m referring to Giovanny Gallegos, who hasn’t been nearly as good this year but could still be helpful in 2024.

My prediction - Stratton, VerHagen, and Hicks get traded

(After voting, feel free to comment which relievers you think will get traded)


How Many Relievers Will Get Traded?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (201 votes)
  • 57%
    (1341 votes)
  • 26%
    (613 votes)
  • 7%
    (173 votes)
2328 votes total Vote Now

Will the Cardinals Trade Tommy Edman, Brendan Donovan, or Nolan Gorman?

This is a tough one for me. I would normally give a hard no on trading any of these three players but the point remains that there is some overlap here and it’s hard for all three to play at the same time.

Edman’s days as a center fielder are likely over with Nootbaar now playing the position and playing it well, although the Cardinals could theoretically trade both Carlson and O’Neill and then slot Edman in center field long term. I don’t expect that to happen, but it is possible.

So, with that said, it’s important to evaluate Edman’s fit at shortstop. Do the Cardinals want to trade DeJong, play Edman at short, and then force Masyn Winn to put himself in the picture? Do they prefer to trade Edman to open up a spot for Winn while keeping DeJong as insurance? We’ll have an answer in a week but as for now, I think the Cardinals want to hold onto Edman.

Now on to the Donovan/Gorman conundrum. I basically have no interest in trading either player but the point remains that they do overlap a bit. Both players probably fits best at second base unless the Cardinals want to stick Brendan Donovan in left field every day. But while they do overlap, both players have been great this year. Gorman may be a streaky hitter but he’s a good power bat and has taken massive strides with his defense. He’s already a god player with upside to be even more.

But then there’s Brendan Donovan, who has been worth more WAR than Gorman this season, is hitting for more power, still has great plate discipline, and can play everywhere. And that’s how Donovan fits. Even if the Cardinals keep Gorman and Edman, Donovan can find time as a DH and super utility player. It’s possible for the Cardinals to keep all three.

While I can’t name which of the three players is most likely to get traded, I do think one of them probably will, if only because the Cardinals may need some ammo to chase a good controllable starting pitcher. Those aren’t exactly cheap.

So I’m going to make this a lot easier on myself than I am on you. I just going to predict that one of these 3 players gets traded but I’m going to ask you to name which player will get traded, if you think that one will. You’re welcome.

My prediction - 1 of the 3 gets traded


Will the Cardinals Trade Tommy Edman, Brendan Donovan, or Nolan Gorman

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    Tommy Edman
    (1155 votes)
  • 8%
    Brendan Donovan
    (209 votes)
  • 6%
    Nolan Gorman
    (166 votes)
  • 38%
    (970 votes)
2500 votes total Vote Now

How Many Major League Starting Pitchers Will the Cardinals Acquire?

We all know what the plan is at the deadline. “Pitching, pitching, and more pitching.” John Mozeliak said it himself. But the question is - will the Cardinals get major league pitching or near-major league pitching. Basically, do the Cardinals have the talent (and are they willing to trade it) to get major league pitching or will they target Double-A/Triple-A starters instead? Either one can work since the Cardinals are building for next year, but major league-ready pitching would probably be the preferred route.

So, who are the Cardinals going to trade for that? I doubt it’ll be Montogmery because a team looking to bolster its rotation usually isn’t looking to subtract from it at the same time. If the Cardinals get an MLB starter, it will likely come at the cost of their position player depth.

That likely means Dylan Carlson/Tyler O’Neill and/or someone like Tommy Edman or Brendan Donovan. Think something similar to the Harrison Bader for Jordan Montgomery swap a year ago.

As you may be able to guess from the above section, I think the Cardinals will get a major league starting pitcher and I think they may need to add one of Edman/Donovan/Gorman to do so. While the Cardinals would probably like to keep all three players, it takes talent to get talent and Mozeliak has been open about the Cardinals needing to add to the rotation.

I could be wrong and the Cardinals could target some advanced Triple-A guys and try to get them some experience for the rest of the year but I don’t think the Cardinals will let the week pass without bringing in a guaranteed reinforcement.

I also don’t think the Cardinals will want to part with more than one of the aformentioned trio, meaning that they are likely limited to one MLB starting pitcher, though I guess they could look for some bargain trades to cover innings too (think J.A. Happ or Jon Lester).

My prediction - The Cardinals will acquire 1 major league starter.


How Many Major League Starting Pitchers Will the Cardinals Acquire?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (439 votes)
  • 42%
    (946 votes)
  • 33%
    (729 votes)
  • 4%
    (89 votes)
2203 votes total Vote Now

How Many Players Will the Cardinals Trade Off the Major League Roster?

Let’s sum it up. So far I’ve predicted that Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Chris Stratton, Jordan Hicks, Drew VerHagen, and one of Edman, Donovan, or Gorman will get traded. That’s 6 players.

There’s my prediction, It’s probably wrong because there’s so much up in the air at this deadline and it will probably be a deadline unlike anything we’ve seen from the Cardinals before, but that’s my best guess.

In the poll, I’m going to offer a range, but feel free to comment exactly how many players you think will get traded.


How Many Cardinals Will Get Traded?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (113 votes)
  • 66%
    (1446 votes)
  • 27%
    (612 votes)
  • 0%
    (17 votes)
2188 votes total Vote Now


This is probably the first trade deadline in which we’ve seen the John Mozeliak Cardinals act like true sellers, willing to potentially deal all but a handful of players. That could lead to a lot of trades or it could lead to a lot of fruitless discussions. I tend to think that the Cardinals will be looking to deal, though, and especially deal players on an expiring contract or players that can help the team path holes in next year’s rotation.

What’s crazy to think about is that if the Cardinals do indeed trade the 6 players that I’m predicting them to trade, then they will be trading 23% of their active roster. That’s a lot of in-season turnaround for a team that is generally pretty stable.

I, for one, am excited by that thought and I’m ready to sit back and watch what happens. So, for now, make your predicitions and hit the comments. We’ll know a whole lot more a week from now.

Thanks for reading, VEB.