Even though the St. Louis Cardinals had an embarrassing finish to their season, getting swept by the Washington Nationals, it was a good year for the Redbirds overall. Obviously, though, based on recency bias, they have a problem scoring runs consistently, and that needs to be addressed this winter, whether it be via free agency or the trade market.
With an improvement in mind, here are three players the Cardinals need to target in a trade this offseason.
3. RHP Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes struggled with consistency, which is why he didn't end up being Boston's closer full-time this year. With the Red Sox looking to cut some payroll and shake this roster up under a new GM, it wouldn't be shocking if Barnes was on the block. Even though you didn't always know what you were going to get from Barnes, he did end the season with 110 strikeouts over 64.1 innings. The Cardinals have a nice bullpen, but adding a high-upside reliever like Barnes could take this group to another level.
2. 3B Evan Longoria
Matt Carpenter is likely not going anywhere because of the extension he signed before the 2019 season, but the Cardinals can't ignore his regressive performance. St. Louis could use an upgrade at third base, and even though his overall numbers don't jump off the page, Evan Longoria was a really good hitter away from home this season. Longoria hit .279 with 14 home runs and an .870 OPS over 61 away games, and got injured as his bat was starting to click into gear. He'd be a nice gamble for a Cardinals team in desperate need of offense.
1. OF Charlie Blackmon
I know Charlie Blackmon recently signed an extension that includes player options for 2022 and 2023, but do the Colorado Rockies really want to run it back after a 90-loss season? They could use a reshaping of the roster, and the Cardinals could use Blackmon's thump at the top of the lineup (and they've always fancied him, over and over again). Is this the offseason where there's finally a fit?