Around the trade deadline last year, Jon Morosi noted that the Cardinals and Mariners had been having discussions about trades that would bring controllable starting pitching back for St. Louis.
Even after signing Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson, Cardinals fans want more, and it’s easy to see why. I think it’s clear that even with Gray at the top, this isn’t a rotation that is World Series caliber.
I’ve stated that I don’t think it’s likely the Cardinals add another starter this offseason, but after reading a report from Jim Bowden about the Mariners potentially shopping some of their young arms, I immediately thought back to Morosi’s report.
The #Mariners continue to listen to trade proposals for pitchers in their starting rotation since the return in this market would be inflated...then consider signing Blake Snell to upgrade the top of the rotation. #Rangers are still engaged in trying to have a reunion with Jordan…— Jim Bowden⚾️ (@JimBowdenGM) January 24, 2024
At the time, the Mariners needed some position players. They may not need them as much now after adding Mitch Garver and re-acquiring Mitch Haniger. They also now have Luis Urias, who the Cardinals are familiar with from his time with the Brewers.
But when we look at both rosters, I think it’s obvious the Cardinals need more pitching, and the Mariners could use a bat.
The names that instantly came to my head when reading today’s report were Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo. But which one would the Cardinals be most likely to trade for?
Which starter makes most sense for Cards?
Again, going back to the trade deadline, Derrick Goold had reported the Cardinals were interested in Gilbert. He would be a significant upgrade for this rotation. Plus, he has a few more years of team control. But I get the sense that the asking price is going to be high. It might even cost Nolan Gorman or Brendan Donovan, and I don’t see the Cardinals wanting to trade either of them.
Woo would be an interesting pickup. He’s a high-upside arm who misses bats. I doubt he would take too much of a haul. The same can be said for Miller. Both are young and have club control for several years. This is what the Cardinals should have been looking for in my opinion, instead of going after Lynn and Gibson for cheap one-year deals.
I could see the Cardinals potentially swinging a deal for one of these two. I would imagine the haul might include a position player or two, and I think it’s realistic to assume Alec Burleson or Dylan Carlson could be part of that package.
If I had to choose between the two, I would say Miller is the most likely option given he has a little more experience than Woo, who started just 18 games last year. Miller started 25 games and probably would have gotten closer to or past 30 or so starts had he not fallen on the injured list. He went 8-7 with a 4.32 ERA, but he is still only 25 years old, and because his recent body of work is a little more substantial than that of Woo, I think he is the most likely option for St. Louis.
Gilbert would certainly be the best, but it would take a lot for the Cardinals to get him. We’ll have to see what comes of this report and if the Cardinals decide to talk a deal with the Mariners.