3 bats the Cardinals can pick up at the deadline if their offense continues to struggle

The Cardinals' offense has been their achilles heel to start the 2024 season. If their offense continues to struggle, here are three hitters they could pick up at the trade deadline.
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies
St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals rebuilt their starting rotation over the winter by signing Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson. However, their offense has been their achilles heel to start the 2024 season.

The Cardinals are 11-14 through 25 games. The offense was an issue last season as well but was not prioritized in the offseason. Perhaps it should have been a priority, as they are 25th in the majors in batting average (.221), 29th in home runs (16), 26th in runs scored (87), and 27th in OPS (.641).

If the offense continues to plague them, it's very likely that they will need to make a trade before the deadline to strengthen it. Here are three bats the Cardinals could target if push comes to shove.

3. Brandon Drury, 2B, Angels

Brandon Drury is not a household name by any means, but he remains a viable option for contending teams looking to bolster their offense.

His early numbers this year don't inspire much confidence, as he's hitting .194 with one homer and four RBI. However, he followed up a strong 2022 with a 26-homer season last year. He also drove in 83, hit for a .262 average, and posted an .803 OPS.

Recent history suggests that Drury will ultimately figure things out and get going, and with the Los Angeles Angels not expected to contend, he could be a piece that is dangled in trade conversations, especially with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Given that information, he likely won't come at a terribly high cost and could be highly coveted by teams in need of a bat or two by the time the deadline comes around.

The Cardinals could use Drury as a utility infielder or have him as a right-handed option from the designated hitter spot. He brings power from the right side and would fit right in with St. Louis.

2. Jake Burger, 1B, Marlins

Jake Burger is an interesting option and would also be a good fit in St. Louis.

Unfortunately, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado occupy the corner infield positions, but with Goldschmidt likely not coming back in 2025, the Cardinals need to plan to replace him. Burger can play first base and provides a ton of power from the right side.

Interestingly enough, Burger is also a native of St. Louis and graduate of Missouri State University, so he would be enjoying a nice homecoming if the Cardinals were to swing a deal with the Miami Marlins, who are already well out of contention after a dreadful start.

Burger is hitting .228 with three home runs, 15 RBI, and a .702 OPS this season. He is also currently on the injured list. But when he comes back, he could be somebody the Cardinals take a look at if their offense continues to slump.

Given his potential, the Marlins would probably want someone of note from the Cardinals, potentially one of their young power bats such as Alec Burleson, Luken Baker, or possibly even Lars Nootbaar.

1. J.D. Martinez, DH, Mets

The New York Mets are off to a decent start this year, but after trading away so many valuable pieces at last year's trade deadline, it's very likely that they'll eventually come back down to earth.

J.D. Martinez, who will be activated from the injured list soon. was signed to a one-year deal and could be used as trade bait if the Mets decide to sell at the deadline this year. Given his track record, it might take a bigger haul to land him.

Fortunately, the Cardinals acquired some solid prospects last summer when they were sellers at the deadline, and could use some of them in a trade for Martinez if they come calling for his services.

Pitchers such as Tekoah Roby, Sem Robberse, Drew Rom, and Adam Kloffenstein could be pieces the Mets show interest in. The Cardinals could also look at dealing Thomas Saggese, who came over from the Texas Rangers with Roby in the Jordan Montgomery deal.

Martinez would strictly be an offensive addition and would likely be given the full-time designated hitter job. But facing a lineup with him, Goldschmidt, Arenado, and Willson Contreras would be a tough task for any opposing pitcher, and a move for Martinez would signal that the Cardinals are all-in.