The Cardinals are tied to a lot more rumors this trade deadline then they have in the last few years. Here’s where everyone stands
Everyone is pretty much in play.
Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat has heard Nolan Gorman is the centerpiece of the Cardinals offer so they don’t have to move multiple top prospects in Jordan Walker and Masyn Winn. By including Gorman, the Cardinals would be handing shortstop back to Paul DeJong and Tommy Edman returning to second; you’d also see more Brendan Donovan at second on days Edman plays at short. It’s also believed that the Cardinals would take on Patrick Corbin‘s $60M contract.
But Corbin might not be in play. The Nats’ GM Mike Rizzo said they don’t want to dilute the return for Soto; by including Corbin and his salary, the Nationals will not be able to get the same return since he’s considered a bad contract. Teams would try to lower the asking price by taking on the additional money. If Corbin is not included, Walker and Winn would have to be in play.
Will Leitch of MLB.com (who is a Cardinals fan and co-hosts the Seeing Red Podcast) believes the Cardinals are the 5th most likely team to make a Soto trade; they have the pieces, but the move doesn’t fit with the history of what John Mozeliak has done at the deadline, at least since they traded Colby Rasmus for pieces to win the World Series.
The Padres and Dodgers are considered in the mix. Many other teams might be as well; MLB.com conducted a poll of MLB Executives about where Soto would land and the Padres and Dodgers were the top 2. The Cardinals were tied for 3rd with 3 votes, along with the Mariners, Mets, Yankees, and Rays.
MLB.com released 7 moves that contenders need to make (that excluded Soto) and Montas listed for the Cardinals. But it’s bigger then just Montas and I like the deal. The Cardinals would acquired Montas and catcher Sean Murphy from the A’s for Matthew Liberatore, Winn, and Luken Baker. It’s a big package to give up, but the Cardinals would finally get production from their catcher along with lining up Yadier Molina‘s replacement; the jury is out on Andrew Knizner and Ivan Herrera, although a lot of people have turned on Knizner this season.
Montas has been on the Cardinals radar for a while now. He’s been tied to a lot of teams, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Braves, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, and Padres.
The Detroit Tigers
The Tigers are saying that they would listen on almost anyone at this point, including young pitcher Tarik Skubal. Skubal isn’t a free agent until after 2026, so the asking price will be very high; not Soto high, but probably more then what MLB expected the A’s to get for Montas. Skubal doesn’t have the track record Montas does; after struggling over his first 2 seasons, he’s dropped his ERA to 3.88, seen his hard hit rate drop while seeing an increase in ground balls. The Tigers also have relievers Andrew Chafin, Michael Fulmer, and Gregory Soto who could intrigue the team.
No word on if the Cardinals have talked with the Tigers yet.
The Diamondbacks are almost certain to throw Bumgarner out there; the team wants to shed his $37M over the next 2 seasons. Because of the contract, there might not be many suitors, nor much of a return, unless they eat some money. Bumgarner is liked by the Cardinals and fits the mold of innings eater, which is one thing they’ve said they need. A month ago, Bleacher Report believed the Cardinals were the 6th best fit for him, but they also cited the return of Jack Flaherty and emergence of Andre Pallante as reasons for them being that low; since we know Flaherty is out and Pallante is starting to struggle in the rotation, they are probably in more of a need of him now.
Arizona could also move Merrill Kelly, but the return might be more then that of Bumgarner, but there is also less of a financial constraint with acquiring Kelly. Sportsnaut claims David Peralta could be a target for the Cardinals, but I don’t see a fit with the current roster.
Luis Castillo/Tyler Mahle
The Reds are making both pitchers available, but neither should be considered real options for the Cardinals; the Reds won’t trade there best players to a division rival, unless they were to get a rumored Soto-like package in return.
See the Castillo/Mahle statement, and replace the Reds with the Cubs, then multiply the return by 2.
I think of all the in division players available, Quintana might be the most realistic; the Pirates will take players from almost anywhere. The issue here is the Yankees and White Sox are interested as well, along with probably every contender. The Yankees seem like the team that would want Quintana since he’s a rental and they are still up against the luxury tax threshold; they’ve also have a history of trading some quality players for rentals.
Check back later this week for an updated rumor mill.