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Cardinals Trade Montgomery & Stratton to the Rangers, Hicks to the Blue Jays

The Cardinals completed two trades, acquiring some intriguing pitching depth in return.

Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

The Cardinals jumped into the trade deadline fray with both feet on Sunday afternoon, completing two different trades.

LHP Jordan Montgomery + RHP Chris Stratton for Texas Rangers’ RHP Tekoah Roby, LHP John King, and INF Thomas Saggese

Fangraphs Pages:

Tekoah Roby — RHP in AA

John King — LHP MLB/AAA

Thomas Saggese - INF in AA

Commentary from JP: Roby is the core arm in this deal. He’s a 21-year-old righty who reached AA this season. He only has 10 starts on the season and has been out of action since early June with a shoulder injury. When healthy, he’s flashed dynamic stuff. His ERA is 5.05, but his FIP is 3.85 and his xFIP is just above that. He has K’ed over 25% of the batters he has faced in AA while walking just 6.2%. His K rates were even higher as a 20-year-old in A+ last season. A swing and miss pitcher with excellent command and control? Injury aside, this is exactly the kind of pitcher that the Cardinals should be looking to acquire!

Fangraphs’ Analysis of Roby: Before he was shut down, Roby was consistently working with four plus pitches. He was sitting 94-95 with riding life, bending in one of the nastier curveballs in the minors, tilting in a similarly shaped slider in the mid-80s, and turning over a tailing low-80s changeup. He looked like a contender’s four-pitch mid-rotation starter.

We’ll have to see what happens with his shoulder injury, but Roby looks like an arm that can slide in toward the top of the next wave of MLB starters the Cardinals have in the high minors. It seems unlikely that he could compete for the MLB rotation next season, but if he continues on his current track, he could see the majors by mid-season 2024.

While King is a depth arm that could provide some MLB innings right now, Saggese looks like he fits perfectly into that “Position Player Depth” category I listed in my pre-deadline “Three Tiers of Trade Deadline Outcomes” article. He’s only 21, a versatile infield defender, and has never had a wRC+ below 127 at three levels. He’s not a huge power hitter, but with average ability to drive the ball and a very good contact bat, he’s the kind of player that the Cardinals have made good use of in the past. He has a high chance or reaching the majors and contributing there for several years.

Turning Monty and Stratton into a top 100 caliber pitching prospect who could see the majors next season and a future major league infielder, both 22 or younger, is inarguably a win for Mozeliak and the front office.

RHP Jordan Hicks for Toronto Blue Jays’ RHP Sem Robberse and RHP Adam Kloffenstein

Fangraphs Pages:

Sem Robberse — RHP in AA

Adam Kloffenstein — RHP in AA

John Mozeliak made himself available after the game. Here’s part of his press conference.

Here’s an updated look at the Cardinals’ prospect list from Matt Thompson over at Prospects Live. It’s very interesting where he slides in the new talent!