Will the Cardinals have any trade pieces the Blue Jays may be interested in at the deadline?

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays’ inconsistent play thus far this season suggests they may be a team that could do some roster tinkering at the trade deadline. 

A surprise team with several valuable assets could emerge as a seller by late July. The St. Louis Cardinals have gotten off to an unexpectedly poor start and might be an ideal trade partner.

Here are some players, how they’ve done so far in 2023, and how they could fit on the Jays.

Jack Flaherty 

Jack Flaherty flashed ace potential in 2019 when he went 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA and an NL-leading 0.96 WHIP in his age-23 season. 

Since then, injuries have limited the imposing righthander to at most 15 starts in a season. He’s been able to stay on the field this season, and the results have been mixed. 

Flaherty is 3-4 with a 5.24 ERA, but that doesn’t accurately reflect his performance in most of his starts. 

Over the month of the season, we went 2-3 with a 3.94 earned run average. Then, on May 4th, he was shelled for ten earned runs in a start against the Angels and has recovered, pitching 12 innings with three earned runs since.

The 27-year-old would likely slot in toward the back of the Jays’ rotation and would be a rental as he’s set to hit free agency after this season.  

Tyler O’Neill      

You’d be hard-pressed to think of a player whose shine has worn off in the last two years than Tyler O’Neill. In 2021, he was a top-10 MVP finalist after hitting 34 home runs in under 500 at-bats with a .912 OPS. 

Last year, the B.C. native slipped to 14 homers and a .700 OPS. This year, the left-handed hitter has hit for the same average (.228) he achieved in 2022 while getting into a verbal altercation with Manager Oliver Marmol over whether or not he was hustling on a close play at home. 

Acquiring O’Neill would probably mean an injury happened to one of the Blue Jays’ starting outfielders, but O’Neill has tools and could be a valuable addition. He’d hit toward the bottom of the order and could play all three outfield positions. 

Brendan Donovan 

The Cardinals were expected to be a formidable force in the National League this year, and in the first series of the season, Brendan Donovan seemed to have unlocked a power stroke at the plate not seen before. 

In the first three games of this season, Donovan went five-for-14, with a pair of homers and four RBI. Since then, he’s hit .243 with a homer and seven RBI.

Donovan can play any position on the diamond except catcher and captured the inaugural utility player Gold Glove award last year, so he’s more than capable at every spot.  

If the bullpen is the target of need, General Manager Ross Atkins may call about the services of Ryan Helsey, Chris Stratton, or Drew VerHagen.