St. Louis Cardinals: Potential Pitching Trades


Despite having one of the best records in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals are in need of help in their starting rotation, even with a solid lineup of Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Michael Wacha. The Cardinals are lacking an innings eater that can save their bullpen, a bullpen which is yet again one of the league’s best. I think here in St. Louis we can assume that Cole Hamels‘ price tag is not one the Cardinals wish to pay, so it’s time to look elsewhere. Here is a short list of players and why they could possibly be Cardinals by the trade deadline.

Makes Sense: Bud Norris or Chris Tillman – Baltimore Orioles

St. Louis is all too familiar with Norris from his Houston days, but in his short run with Baltimore he is 16-12. He currently is on the DL and is 1-4 this season. Norris has strikeout stuff and has pitched over 150 innings each season since 2010, so his stint on the DL is rare. Still, he could be a decent rental for the rest of his $8,000,000 contract. As for Tillman, he is the Orioles’ top pitcher on the depth chart but is currently struggling in his final year of his deal. He has been a 200-plus inning pitcher the past two seasons and has been stellar on the mound. If he continues to struggle and Baltimore falls out of contention, both Norris and Tillman may be options since both are in the last years of their respective deals.

Probable offer for each separately: LHP Marco Gonzales, RHP Luke Weaver, Player to be named.

Best Fit: Mark Buehrle- Toronto Blue Jays

It seems every year that fans want the local player to come home. But there’s a major need for an innings-eater near the back end of the rotation, and there are few better than Buehrle. The best proof of that is that the last time he pitched under 200 innings was in 2000, his rookie season. He also has a career winning record, another plus. The down side to this is that he is owed $19,000,000 this season. Is that worth the one year rental?

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Probable offer: OF Stephen Piscotty, LHP Marco Gonzales, SS Juan Herrera, and the Blue Jays eating a part of the contract.

Dark Horse: Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants

Understand that this is a dark horse pick. When looking for a pitcher I ruled out most of the National League because most teams know the Cardinals are going to be there in October. However, if by the trade deadline the Giants are in third and their team looks dead to rights, dealing a sixth starter who at times can be great but if his motion is off is just dreadful may be a decent option. He also has experience in the bullpen and is actually very successful in that role. Again, money is the issue. $15,000,000 this year then he is a free agent. Remember, DARK HORSE!

Probable offer: (P) Tim Cooney, (OF) Tommy Pham.

There are obviously potential issues with all of these pitchers. But I was reluctant to give up the farm on these deals, and so are the Cardinals. I believe the Cardinals will have anyone on the 25-man roster off limits, likely as well as both Alex Reyes, who is a flamethrower that is developing in Palm Beach, and Rob Kaminsky, a lefty at Palm Beach, who has an outstanding curveball and a decent fastball. But I’m not a GM, I just pretend to be one here, and you can too! Tell us who you want to see dealt to the Cardinals and what you’d offer for them.

Next: Hot & Cold Cardinals Minor-League Pitchers