Two blockbuster Paul Goldschmidt trade fits if things go south for Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals should be in a better position to compete in 2024. But if things go south again, they may want to consider trading Paul Goldschmidt and seeing what they can get in exchange.
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / John Fisher/GettyImages

Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals certainly aren't going to want to see this. After all, the bitter taste of a 71-91 finish still lingers.

Fortunately, the Cards should be better in 2024 thanks to some key pitching additions, but they still do not qualify as a World Series contender. Some additional moves will need to be made in order to rejoin that conversation.

When the Cardinals fell out of postseason contention last season, there was speculation that slugger Paul Goldschmidt could have been moved at the trade deadline. That didn't come to pass.

Again, Cardinals fans likely don't want to even entertain the idea of a Goldschmidt trade. And who can blame them? But if they aren't a legitimate contender for the postseason at the trade deadline this year, this is something they may be forced to consider.

Keep in mind, Goldschmidt is entering the final year of his contract and will be turning 37 in 2024. The Cardinals could do what the Los Angeles Angels failed to do with Shohei Ohtani and acquire some key pieces.

Here are two potential blockbuster trade fits the Cardinals could consider if they are unable to bounce back into contention in 2024.

Paul Goldschmidt to the Mariners for pitching help

The Cardinals and Mariners could be ideal trade partners at the deadline if things don't work out for St. Louis in 2024.

Seattle is an obvious trade partner because of the pitching depth they currently possess. While they likely won't trade somebody like Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller or Bryan Woo could be pieces that the Cardinals show interest in if they have to sell again.

With Miller and Woo both Major-League-ready, there could be a solid deal waiting for the Cardinals.

St. Louis has been aggressive in terms of adding pitching this winter, but that is still the major area of concern for the 11-time World Series champions. Adding some young, high-upside arms could set them up well to return to contention in 2025 if they aren't in the mix this season.

The Cardinals added plenty of pitching at last year's deadline, but would have benefitted from adding pitchers who were truly Major-League-ready and could be penciled into their rotation immediately. Trading Goldschmidt would be a quick way to ensure they get just that.

Of course, Cardinals fans are hoping that the team won't have to sell again this year. But if they do, there are some solid pitching options in Seattle.

Paul Goldschmidt to the Orioles for controllable starting pitching

Another team that the Cardinals could call if they end up selling again is the Baltimore Orioles.

Much like the Mariners, the Orioles are prepared to win now. They should remain in the hunt this season after winning 101 games last year. While they too could use pitching, another bat certainly wouldn't hurt them, and they could potentially make a play for Goldschmidt if he becomes available.

The Orioles would have some impressive pitching prospects that the Cardinals could ask about, namely DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez. Like Woo and Miller, these are controllable pitchers that the Cards could pencil into their rotation for 2025 and beyond. Baltimore has been unwilling to trade its young pitching, but that might change for a player of Goldschmidt's caliber.

This is something the Cardinals should consider even if they plan on contending. As mentioned earlier, Goldschmidt is aging and in the final year of his deal. Instead of trying to extend him or losing him in free agency for nothing, the Cardinals could try to get some pitching pieces for him.

Recall 2004, when the Boston Red Sox traded Nomar Garciaparra at the deadline. He was set to become a free agent after 2005, and the Red Sox made the tough decision to trade him and acquire the pieces they needed to make their run to the World Series. It's always possible that the Cardinals could find themselves in a similar position.

If not, this is something they could consider doing before the season begins. They have been unable to sign Goldschmidt to an extension as of now, and it might be worth letting him go, adding pitching in the process, and opening the door for somebody like Jordan Walker to play first base full-time.

We'll see what the Cardinals decide to do.