ST. LOUIS – The trade deadline has come and gone. Key players have departed from the St. Louis Cardinals. But at the end of the day, there’s still baseball to be played.
Tuesday’s starter Miles Mikolas, now the longest-tenured pitcher on the Cardinals after Adam Wainwright, summed up the vibes in the Cardinals clubhouse pretty clearly, not just through his postgame comments, but also a fashion statement.
“Life Goes On, Man.” It’s a quote from The Dude from “The Big Lebowski,” and a mindset the Cardinals are embracing with many longtime friends gone and postseason hopes dashed.
“Whether it’s foolish or not, I think the mindset is to be super optimistic,” said Mikolas, who tossed seven innings in a 3-2 Cardinals’ loss just hours after the deadline. “We got an incredibly talented ball club here. We have guys coming up that have tons of talent. We start putting things together getting on a roll here, things could change. Things could start working very well for us.”
Over the last two weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals made the following trades
- July 21: Génesis Cabrera traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor-league catcher Sammy Hernandez.
- July 30: Jordan Hicks traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor-league pitchers Sem Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein.
- July 30: Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton to the Texas Rangers for minor-league infielder Thomas Saggese, minor-league pitcher Tekoah Roby and left-handed relief pitcher John King.
- Aug. 1: Paul DeJong to the Toronto Blue Jays for minor-league pitcher Matt Svanson.
- Aug. 1: Jack Flaherty to the Baltimore Orioles for minor-league infielder César Prieto and minor-league pitchers Drew Rom and Zack Showalter.
In return, the Cardinals acquired 10 players, including seven pitchers. The prospects help restock a Cardinals farm system in need of near-MLB ready talent, and many of the newcomers rank within the organization’s Top 30 prospects already, per MLB Pipeline.
Cardinals lead executive John Mozeliak described the trades Sunday as an “event” and “a day we hoped would never happen.” But he says the deals made ahead of the deadline are intended to help the team in 2024 and beyond.
“We knew there was still some potential to trade a few more players,” said Mozeliak on his deadline strategy Tuesday. “We went into today thinking we were going to be able to do something with [Paul DeJong] and we were able to accomplish that. And then, really we were sitting back and seeing the level of interest we were having with Jack [Flaherty]. We really felt like after we moved Monty, we cleared the deck, and it allowed other teams to start to focus on that.”
Mozeliak said it was a bit of unfamiliar territory as the Cardinals played sellers at this year’s deadline.
“This from a standpoint of volume is obviously the biggest I’ve ever been involved,” said Mozeliak. “Net-net, we’re excited about it, but we still have to be patient, get [the prospects] into our system and see where we’re at.”
For manager Oli Marmol, it was tough parting ways with some players he helped guide from the minors to the majors.
“It’s a tough day when you see your boys go to a different team,” said Marmol. “You move on pretty quickly because of the nature of what we’re called to do every day.”
Players shared mixed reactions to the deadline deals. Most were disappointed to see some big-league teammates leave, but are keeping their head forward.
“We’ve we lost some friends, but life goes on. So, you know, the sun’s gonna come up tomorrow, and we got a ballgame,” Mikolas told MLB.com’s John Denton.
“Whoever is here next year, we’ll be feeding off of each other and hopefully playing some really good baseball,” he added.
Coming back from an injury last month, O’Neill had been subject to some trade rumors before he ultimately stayed put. He describes the process of getting through this deadline as a little “tense,” but says getting to work helped him get through deadline stressors.
“It’s never fun seeing your friends go like that,” said O’Neill. “Obviously, I had a relationship for a long time with a lot of those guys. They’ve been a core pieces of this organization for a long time.”
There’s bittersweetness to it, of course. It’s good to see them go to a team with contending aspirations. Hopefully they go deep in the playoffs. We’ll see how it goes, but got some new faces in here, just try to welcome those guys as best as we can and see what it looks like.”
The reigning MVP views the deadline as part of the business of baseball, though he has gotten used to it. He sees this deadline as a chance to reflect on player performance, including his own.
“We lost a lot of guys that a lot of us are close friends with and have played with for a long time,” Goldschmidt told FOX 2’s Kevin Ryans. “It happened, and it’s no one’s fault but ours, the players. We didn’t perform. If we would’ve played better so far, we would be adding guys to the roster not subtracting.”
Returning from injury on Tuesday, Tommy Edman had also been subject to some rumors due to the Cardinals’ middle infield depth. But with Paul DeJong traded and utility man Brendan Donovan set for season-ending surgery, the Cardinals held onto Edman.
“Weird day, seeing a lot of guys leave, a lot of guys who have been here for a long time,” said Edman. “It’s definitely sad to see some of those guys leave, but you wish them the best and hope they do well for their new teams.”
NOTE: Check back later for videos with Cardinals’ post-deadline comments.
The Cardinals have roughly two months of their season left. At 47-61, they will not make the postseason this year, barring a miracle. A three-game series with the Minnesota Twins continues on Tuesday.