Blue Jays: Which NL contenders could come calling for a starting pitcher?

DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 01: Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 01, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 01: Starting pitcher Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 01, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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ST LOUIS, MO – MAY 31: Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 31, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO – MAY 31: Miles Mikolas #39 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Busch Stadium on May 31, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

St. Louis Cardinals

The wild card race is shaping up to be a very interesting picture this year, and the familiar faces of the St. Louis Cardinals are right in the thick of things.

As of this writing, they are a game behind the Braves for the 2nd wild-card spot and 2.5 behind the Cubs for the division lead. There is plenty of firepower in St. Louis and every reason to believe they’ll be at or near the top of the standings by season’s end, but they could use a little more help getting there.

Miles Mikolas hasn’t been as sharp this season, but still represents a solid rotation piece, and Jack Flaherty is quietly putting together a strong campaign. Adam Wainwright hasn’t been awful, but I don’t think the Cardinals want to count on him come playoff time, even if he’s been there many times before.

For this team to take a real step forward will require a significant upgrade in the rotation, and maybe even two. Dakota Hudson‘s 3.70 ERA may look okay on paper, but his 1.57 WHIP shows that there’s a fair bit of luck involved in that number being under four.

The problem for the Cardinals when it comes to rotation upgrades is that their minor league system is pretty weak. For that reason, I could see them looking for high-upside, lower-cost guys, and I can’t help but think that Sanchez could work in St. Louis. The long-time Blue Jay fan in me remembers what moving to St. Louis did for Chris Carpenter‘s career after mixed results in Toronto, and maybe they can do is again for the blister-prone Sanchez. That wouldn’t guarantee the immediate help they could use, but it could be a solution beyond this year as well if it works. It just feels like a Cardinal thing to do to me, but maybe I’m way off.

All that said, I don’t really see the Cardinals and Blue Jays hooking up for a trade this summer, even if they’ve been fairly successful partners in recent years with deals for Randal Grichuk and Aledmys Diaz. At least those ones worked out for the Blue Jays anyway.

Likelihood= 2/5

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