3 most valuable Cardinals trade chips at the deadline if they sell

MLB Trade Rumors, St. Louis Cardinals

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John Gant, St. Louis Cardinals

John Gant, St. Louis Cardinals. (Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

The St. Louis Cardinals may have to admit they will be sellers as the trade deadline approaches.

Entering a season with massive expectations, the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals have massively underperformed up to this point.

Expected to contend for the NL Central crown, the Cardinals find themselves below .500 at 40-42 heading into Fourth of July weekend. While that record is not terrible, it has the Cardinals in fourth place in the division standings and nine games back of the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals are running out of time to get this right, and they might have to be sellers this July.

Here are the Cardinals’ three most valuable trade assets heading into the MLB trade deadline.

St. Louis Cardinals: 3 most valuable trade assets at the 2021 MLB deadline

3

John Gant

RHP St. Louis Cardinals

John Gant has not been to blame for the Cardinals’ starting rotation problems

The biggest issue plaguing the Cardinals this season has been their disaster of a starting rotation. Veteran mainstay Adam Wainwright is over the hill, ace Jack Flaherty has dealt with injuries and soon-to-be free agent Carlos Martinez has not been the least bit good. That leaves us with a starter who has been good, but not great in John Gant. He could be moved at the trade deadline.

Gant is 4-6 on the year in 16 appearances, making 14 starts. While he has a solid 3.61 ERA, his WHIP is less than stellar at 1.619. This has a ton to do with him having a league-worst 49 walks. Gant is walking 6.5 hitters per nine innings. However, he has found a way to keep the runs allowed to a minimum. So he has showcased a strong ability to pitch himself out of the jams he created.

The soon-to-be 29-year-old right-hander is hitting his final year of arbitration this winter before entering free agency in 2023. So whoever would theoretically be trading for him would have another year’s worth of control before he hits the open market. It may be alluring for a team in need of a back-end starter for this postseason’s run, as well as putting together a 2022 rotation.

While Gant could be moved, the Cardinals are not going to give him up for next to nothing either.

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