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The Cardinals are the Dodgers’ Best Trade Partner This Deadline, Here’s All the Players LA Should Target

The St. Louis Cardinals have officially announced what we’ve been expecting for a while: They’re going to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline. For Dodgers fans, that’s a reason to get at least a little excited.

Last week, Cardinals president of baseball operations, John Mozeliak, told The Athletic‘s Chris Kirschner that the Cards are “going to trade people” this deadline.

“Right now, I can tell you that we’re going to trade people,” Mozeliak said. “I just don’t know if it’s going to be household names or more of guys that just aren’t likely going to be here next year.”

Mozeliak did add that the team is “not going to just give away players,” (duh) and wants value in return (also duh), but he made it clear that they’re focused on getting a return that will help them in 2024.

So, in a lot of words, Mozeliak said that the Cardinals are sellers and are looking to add ready or close-to-ready MLB talent. Fortunately, there’s a team in the NL West that has a lot of that and is looking to win this year.

The Dodgers currently have eight players in the MLB Pipeline Top 100 prospects list (Bobby Miller has graduated), and tons more top prospects coming up right behind them. They have more MLB-ready talent than they know what to do with, and are in prime position to go all-in this deadline while still maintaining flexibility for Shohei Ohtani this winter.

While everyone has been linking LA to the Chicago White Sox — and understandably so — I actually think the Cardinals are the better fit, and have all the best options for LA to fill their greatest needs.

In three tiers, here are all the players LA could and should ask about for a potential deadline deal.

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

Nolan Arenado

While a trade for Arenado is the most unrealistic, it’s also by far the best player LA could get this deadline (assuming Ohtani isn’t traded).

He fills all their biggest needs as a Platinum Glove third baseman and a strong righty bat, and would elevate this team to World Series favorite.

I don’t want to spend too much time on Arenado as I just wrote a whole article about why the Dodgers should trade for him, so you can read that by clicking here.

To make a long story short, though, if Arenado is on the table, the Dodgers must do anything and everything in their power to get him to LA.

The Realistic Upgrades

Now that Arenado is out of the way, let’s get to some of the more realistic (and cheaper) upgrades. Let’s start on offense, where the Cardinals are swimming with right-handed and switch-hitting bats, guys that would elevate the offense and add depth all over the field.

Tommy Edman

Edman is the definition of utility. The 28-year-old has played second base, shortstop, third base, right field, left field and center field in his career, and even won a Gold Glove in 2021 at second. Oh, he’s also a switch-hitter who hits righties and lefties fairly well, although lefties a little better.

On the year, Edman is hitting just .237 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs in 84 games. He wouldn’t cost a ton, and would be a great depth piece to play all around the diamond, and fill in full-time against left-handed pitching. He’s under team control for a few more years.

Dylan Carlson

On the topic of switch-hitters, Carlson also hits from both sides of the plate and is better against lefties, like Edman.

The 24-year-old can play all three outfield spots, and is under team control through 2027. This year, he’s hitting .241 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 55 games. There’s a lot of potential in Carlson’s bat — the Dodgers could take a chance at unlocking it.

Paul DeJong

DeJong is having the best year of the three right now, hitting .231 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs out of the shortstop position. He wouldn’t be a long-term commitment, as he has a team option for next season.

He would provide much more offense out of the shortstop spot than Miguel Rojas is giving right now, and, of course, provide a boost against left-handed pitching — he has a .881 OPS against lefties this year.

Okay, now onto the pitching side of things, where the Cardinals have a starter and reliever I have my eyes on.

Jack Flaherty

The LA-native just feels like someone who’s going to end up with the Dodgers one day. I don’t know if it’s the SoCal look or the tight pants, but Flaherty feels destined to be a Dodger.

The Harvard-Westlake High School grad has had an up and down year in St. Louis this season, but has been much better as of late. Since seeing his ERA balloon to 6.29 in early May, it’s down to 4.27 as we head into the second half of the year.

Flaherty is a hard-throwing righty and gives major Walker Buehler, Bobby Miller vibes. He’s a free agent at the end of this year, and would absolutely fortify the Dodgers rotation for the stretch run and postseason as a potential rental.

Jordan Hicks

You didn’t think I’d go through this whole list without mentioning a bullpen guy, right?

The Cardinals ‘pen has been rough this year, but Hicks has been decent and would definitely benefit from being in a different environment.

On the year, Hicks has a 3.93 ERA in 36.2 innings, and has struck out an impressive 55 batters in that time. The 26-year-old also has seven saves, and could be used in higher-leverage situations.

He’s a free agent at the end of this year, so he would be an addition for the sole purpose of this postseason run.

Take a Chance on Me?

Tyler O’Neill

One final guy I wanted to mention is someone currently on the 60-day injured list.

O’Neill hasn’t played since the beginning of May with back issues, but he could be someone the Dodgers take a chance on as a right-handed outfielder to bolster the lineup.

At his best, the 28-year-old hit 34 home runs and 80 RBIs on his way to finishing eighth in MVP voting in 2021. He had a down year in 2022 before missing most of 2023, so his value would definitely not be as high.

Still, he’s proved he can play at the highest of levels — he won back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2020 and 2021 — and could be a huge bat to add to an already potent lineup for the second half of the season.

They would, of course, have to make sure he’s healthy. But if he is, he would be the exact right-handed, power-hitting bat that would elevate this lineup for the postseason.

Which of these Cardinals players do you most want the Dodgers to target? Sound off in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Noah Camras

Noah is an Editor for Dodgers Nation. He graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and minor in Sports Media Studies. He's been a Dodger fan his whole life, and his all-time favorite Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Russell Martin.


  1. There are too many holes. This is a wait for Ohtani yearin 24 and to see if they resign Urias.Buehler is back in 24. If they want to trade guys that are blocked or will be rule 5 in 24 that would be a great idea. I like Arenado as he fills a huge defensive gap at 3rd and gives us the right-handed bat the Dodgers need. Cartaya is blocked by Smith and Rushing is coming up fast so trade him. Maybe Hurt and another too as he is Rule 5. I would continue to bring up the young arms and let them get experience as Sheehan and Miller have. Pepiot is starting to throw at OKC so he and Grove are in the mix also along with Knack, Hurt, and Nostrini. The quality of the pitcher that can be traded for is no better than the young guys we have at AAA and AA. So evaluate them this year to see what the Dodgers have in 24. Lux and Buehler will be back in 24 and either/or both Ohtani and Urias are a big possibility. Kershaw will retire as too much shoulder wear. So possibly Urias, Ohtani, Buehler, Gonsolin, and Miller? Sheehan, Knack, Hurt, or ?? Having controlled young pitchers allows them to make deals with Ohtani and Urias if they want.

  2. Arenado, yes. Others — no one is really an upgrade. Flaherty is not enough of an upgrade to necessarily start in the playoffs and he is rental. They can use an outstanding pitcher to start in the playoffs, and there is no such guy out there who are available right now, it seems. Rule 5 guys, blocked guys, yes, trade them. Cartaya’s value is down due to his injury so don’t trade him. Bull pen help — get one or two if outstanding.

  3. Arenado is a no brainer. Where else are the Dodgers going to get a Hall of Fame caliber 3rd baseman for several more seasons at that price? We’re about to find out just how good Friedman is.

  4. Life long Dodgers fan who lives in St. Louis area. Was listening today to St. Louis sports talk radio. They want a fire sale! Trade as many as 11 players including Arenado & Goldschmidt but not both. I would definitely like to see Arenado playing for the Dodgers along with Jordan Hicks in the bullpen. Tommy Edman would be a good utility player! Flaherty is a major head case for the Cardinals. Being a free agent, he’s on his way out. Cardinals would prefer to trade him to get something in return. Be careful with him, SoCal boy? Yeah but, arm goes dead occasionally, looses his fast ball & gets rocked. Cardinals have a glut of outfielders, one of either Burleson or Carlson would do.
    Cartaya or Rushing? IMO, I keep Rushing. Cartaya really struggling this year at AA ball! Yep, both are prospects but Rushing really looks promising.

  5. They should trade for Nolan Arenado. They need a good third baseman. He’s the best they need him and Ohtani.

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