Cardinals rumors: Trade focus pivots from starting rotation to bullpen

The St. Louis Cardinals might have their starting rotation set for 2024. However, they still appear to be looking to trade one of their young, controllable outfielders for bullpen help.

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals have been aggressive so far this offseason.

In a span of just two weeks, they have added Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, and Kyle Gibson to bolster their broken-down starting rotation. Still, Cardinals fans are hoping for some more action in terms of adding starting pitching.

Unfortunately, a recent update from Jon Morosi on Twitter suggests that they are likely done with their starting rotation. But that doesn't mean that other areas of the club won't be addressed. In fact, Morosi notes they are looking to trade one of their controllable outfielders.

More than likely, the Cardinals are looking to move one of Tyler O'Neill or Dylan Carlson. They currently have a starting outfield of Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, and Jordan Walker. Whoever is not traded will likely end up being the team's fourth outfielder.

It is unclear what the focus of trades will be if they are not targeting starting pitching. However, they do have a clear need for some arms in the bullpen, making that the area that they will most likely address next.

The Cleveland Guardians recently made All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase available in trades. If the Cardinals are going to trade for the Guardians closer, it will likely take much more than just Carlson or O'Neill, meaning they might have to package somebody like Brendan Donovan or Nolan Gorman with one of their outfielders. Alec Burleson and Richie Palacios are other options that could used as trade pieces if the Cardinals are going to aim high.

However, it looks as though starting pitching is no longer on the table for St. Louis after they added Gray, Gibson, and Lynn. But they are still fortunate to have the outfield depth available to potentially trade for a high-leverage bullpen arm or two.

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