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One last-minute move Cardinals must make to round out roster

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The St. Louis Cardinals started last season slow, but eventually found their rhythm and pulled away to win the NL Central. The Cardinals ended the 2022 campaign with 93 wins, but lost to the Philadelphia Phillies via a sweep in the NL Wild Card round.

The pressure of postseason baseball may have weighed on St. Louis’ youthful bunch because they were ahead for almost all of Game 1, but gave up six runs in the ninth inning. The Cardinals were fortunate the collapse of the New York Mets was more magnified in the baseball world, so their upset loss to the Phillies was eventually overlooked.

St. Louis is still very young, too, with prospects like Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson and Brendan Donovan exceeding expectations early in their career.

Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are legitimate MVP candidates who have recently joined the Cardinals, and their goal is nothing less than winning a World Series crown. Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina have decided to hang up their cleats and retire from the MLB. Additionally, the Cardinals added one fantastic player to replace Molina behind the plate, Wilson Contreras.

That was the sole move of the Cardinals in the offseason, and they still need a couple of arms to solidify their pitching staff if they want to compete with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Mets. Thus, they must target this name for a last minute-move to round out the roster, even if it seems far-fetched.

Cardinals’ last-minute trade target: Tyler Glasnow

Coming off Tommy John surgery, Tyler Glasnow only pitched three contests before the end of the 2022 season. The Tampa Bay Rays are known as an organization that keeps a low payroll because they play in a small market. It has been their trademark, along with the Cleveland Guardians, to focus on pitching and defense for success.

Before his injury, Glasnow was among the best pitchers in the majors, and his strikeout rate remains one of the best among starters. Even coming off a significant injury, Glasnow still pitched 11 2/3 innings in vital games for the Rays, racking up 15 strikeouts and allowing just one run. That small sample size shows that his stuff is still at an elite level.

In 2024, Glasnow is due a whopping $25 million salary. When the Rays signed him at a low value in 2018, it was inevitable that at some point they would not be able to afford him if he reached the peak of his powers. From Tampa’s perspective, now might be the best time to move him because the opposing team will still have Glasnow for a minimum of two years on his current contract.

That is the perfect scenario that could land Glasnow in St. Louis. Adam Wainwright will eventually retire in the next couple of seasons, and Miles Mikolas and Jack Flaherty need a top-tier ace to compliment them on the biggest stage. Goldschmidt and Arenado are heading into the latter parts of their primes, so they only have a little time to wait.

The addition of Tyler Glasnow would cost some young assets St. Louis may want to hold onto, but keeping superstars happy often requires some tough decision-making. Glasnow would be an ideal addition for the Cardinals as spring training fast approaches. 

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Nish Patel

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