Cardinals are selling, who could the Braves target?

MLB: JUL 02 Yankees at Cardinals

We officially have another seller on the market as the trade deadline approaches, and this one shouldn’t come as a surprise. Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak came out and confirmed the team will be trading players, but the level of the fire sale is not yet known.

The Cardinals are one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They were picked by nearly everyone to win a weak NL Central, and instead, they are in last place, 11.5 games behind the first place Reds. Nothing has gone right for them this season, but they still have a lot of talent that other teams will be interested in, starting with Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt.

The Braves don’t have the need or the prospect capital to swing that kind of blockbuster trade, and I’m not totally sold on the Cardinals moving them. I think they need more of a re-tooling rather than a rebuild, especially in a weak division, but there are some pieces that could pique the interest of the Braves.

Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks is one of the most intriguing playing in baseball. When watching him, you wonder how the hell anyone scores a run on him. He has filthy stuff, including a 101 MPH sinker. The problem is he can’t throw strikes, and this isn’t a new phenomenon. Hicks averages 5.2 walks per nine innings for his career, and that number sits at 5.6 this season. It doesn’t matter how filthy the stuff is when you’re giving up that many free passes. Still, Hicks is on the final year of his contract; it won’t take much to get him, so a team like the Braves could take a gamble on his upside in hopes of harnessing his control.

Jack Flaherty

Flaherty once looked like an up-and-coming ace, but injuries have derailed his career. He’s not the guy he once was, but he’s healthy and having a decent season for the Redbirds, boasting a 4.27 ERA. Like Hicks, Flaherty is on the final year of his deal, so the price to acquire him shouldn’t be much. If the Braves want to ensure they have enough healthy arms in the rotation, they could do a lot worse.

Jordan Montgomery

If the Braves were looking for a better option on the starting pitching front, Montgomery is going to be one of the best starting pitchers on the market. He owns a 3.23 ERA, and that’s after posting a 3.48 ERA last season. Montgomery is a rental, and this is a sellers market, so I’m not sure how much the Braves would be interested in his services for what it might cost. But if another injury arises to the rotation over the next couple of weeks, it will become a much more likely possibility.

Photo: Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire

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