When it comes to trades, no matter how much preparation and analyses are put into it, sometimes they come out good, sometimes it may turn out really bad. In the case for the Toronto Blue Jays, after seeing both Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Gabriel Moreno help the Arizona Diamondbacks make it all the way to the World Series, many of the Jays’ faithful are likely upset about the trade made during the past offseason. Unless Daulton Varsho manages to break out in a big way in the coming years, it will probably go down as one of the trades the Jays might want back.
However, as bad as it may seem, it just pales in comparison to what the St. Louis Cardinals have gone through in the past few years.
Dating back to the 2017-18 MLB offseason, the Cardinals were looking to upgrade their outfield with a power bat. In doing so, they landed Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. Little did they know that among the prospects they gave in the package going the other way, two of them ended up being Cy Young-calibre pitchers in Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen. Ozuna would end up having two solid, yet unspectacular seasons with the Cardinals in which he averaged 26 home runs and 88 RBI. He would eventually leave the team via free agency following the 2019 season. Alcantara would go on to win the 2022 NL Cy Young award with Gallen (now with Arizona) actually finishing fifth in voting that very same year. Both pitchers have gone on to become the ace of their respective pitching staffs, while Gallen has even led the Diamondbacks to the World Series in 2023. On the other hand, the Cardinals have been desperately searching for front-end-of-the-rotation starting pitching in the past few years.
Moreover, during the 2019-20 offseason, the Cardinals did what is now the unthinkable and traded Adolis García to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. That’s right, cash considerations. García had shown some power potential playing in their minor league system in the previous two seasons, but perhaps it was his struggles he displayed in his brief stint in the majors for the Cardinals that convinced them to let him go. Nevertheless, he has since gone on to become an offensive force in the Rangers’ everyday lineup, leading the team to their first World Series championship while winning the ALCS MVP in the process.
In the very same offseason, the Cardinals committed one more deadly sin in sending Randy Arozarena to the Rays in a package for pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez. With a steady flow of upcoming outfield prospects in the organization, they believed they could trade from a position of strength to acquire one of the top pitching prospects in baseball in Liberatore. Liberatore ranked in the top 50 MLB prospects according to MLB Pipeline at the time. Unfortunately, he has yet to fulfill his potential with the Cardinals despite making the major league team in the past couple of years. On the other hand, Arozarena has been a totally different story. He caught the MLB world by storm in 2020 when he went on a blazing hot streak after being called up in late August. In doing so, he helped led the Tampa Bay Rays right to the World Series while capturing the ALCS MVP in the process. Moreover, he has won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2021 and has been the main offensive force in the Rays’ lineup ever since.
So really in comparison, the Jays probably just made this “one” bad trade over the past few years. But for the Cardinals, they practically repeated their mistake three times within a short time span. So look on the bright side Jays fans, it could have been a lot worse.