Jaime Garcia tops the list of 10 players the Cardinals could trade during next week's winter meetings. (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

UPDATE : Cardinals trade Jaime Garcia to Braves for three prospects https://shar.es/18GpQQ
The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they have completed a four-player trade with the Atlanta Braves, acquiring three prospects from the Braves in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia. The Cardinals added right-handed pitchers John Gant and Chris Ellis and second baseman Luke Dykstra in the deal. To read about the trade: https://shar.es/18GpQQ


By Rob Rains

Assuming that the winter meetings are not canceled because of the ongoing labor negotiations, the Cardinals’ contingent will depart on Sunday, hoping to come home from Washington, D.C. a few days later with at least one new player, preferably one who will provide a defensive upgrade in centerfield.

That player could come either through a free agent signing, or more likely, a trade, which means the Cardinals would have to give up something to complete the deal.

So, who are the most tradeable players the Cardinals could move during the winter meetings? Here are 10 names which likely will come down in conversations between John Mozeliak and other GMs:

Jaime Garcia
– The question isn’t if the Cardinals will trade Garcia, it’s when, and what they can get for him. They don’t have a spot for him in their starting rotation for next season and they are not going to pay him $12 million to be a third left-hander in the bullpen.

The Cardinals picked up Garcia’s option with the sole intention of trading him, knowing that because of a week class of starting pitchers in free agency, some team will be willing to take a chance and trade for him. The unknowns are if the Cardinals will have to kick in money to cover part of his salary, and what level of prospect they can get in return. The return could depend on if Garcia is the only Cardinal in the deal, or if he is part of a package.

Matt Adams
– The Cardinals’ intentions to keep Matt Carpenter at first base next year make Adams expendable. He should interest teams in need of a first baseman, of even a DH, and Adams is at a point in his career where he deserves an opportunity to get 500 at-bats In a season. There are teams that believe if he does that, especially in a park friendly for left-handed hitters, Adams could hit 30 home runs.

The Cardinals will miss his pinch-hitting ability, but believe he could be more valuable this winter as a trade chip.

Trevor Rosenthal
– Rosenthal could be the biggest trade chip the Cardinals have if a team wants a closer and misses out on the top three free agents – Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon. The Cardinals have to weigh how much he could bring in return against what he could provide to them next year in a Andrew Miller-set up type role, pitching in front of closer Seung Hwan Oh, and if that equates to paying him $6 million or more.

Luke Weaver
– The deepest area of talent in the Cardinals’ farm system is right-handed pitching, and it’s always helpful to deal from an area of strength. Weaver made a nice impression during his call-up to the Cardinals last season, and showed he can become an effective pitcher at the major-league level. Scouts differ on whether he can become a back of the rotation starter or is better suited for the bullpen, and the return the Cardinals could get from a team in a trade likely will be determined by whether that team views him as a starter or reliever.

Jhonny Peralta
– Peralta is in a very similar spot to Garcia – the Cardinals want to trade him, but need to find a partner for a deal. The fact he is on the final year of a four-year contract and scheduled to make $10 million could help the team move Peralta but they probably cannot expect to get a high return. Trading him, without any other corresponding move, would free up Jedd Gyorko to become the starting third baseman next year – unless they get a better offer for Gyorko and decide to trade him instead.

Michael Wacha
– Wacha also is in a similar position to Garcia. Right now he does not figure to have a spot in the starting rotation in 2017 – which is filled by Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Alex Reyes, Mike Leake and Lance Lynn -- and he has never really been used out of the bullpen since very early in his career. Throw in the questions about the health of his shoulder, and it makes sense for the Cardinals to float his name in discussions with other teams. Those clubs would no doubt want to check his medical records, but if they are convinced that he is healthy, he could prove to be a worthy addition for a lot of teams.

Tommy Pham
– In one way he is similar to Adams, in that he never has had a chance to be a regular with the Cardinals, primarily because of injuries. It could be time to give Pham that opportunity with another team. More than likely Pham would be an extra player in a bigger trade since it is not likely he would bring much of a return if traded individually. The Cardinals already have lost three outfielders this winter in Matt Holliday, Brandon Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker, but Pham likely can be replaced by prospect Harrison Bader, who had a great showing in the Arizona Fall League, as the fourth or fifth outfielder.

Junior Fernandez, Sandy Alcantara or Jordan Hicks
– As discussed in the Weaver section, the depth of the Cardinals’ organization is in right-handed pitching. That means at least one of these pitchers could possibly be included in a deal. There were teams interested in Hicks prior to the trading deadline last summer and both Fernandez and Alcantara are coming off good seasons and are rising up the prospect ranks.

The Cardinals won’t trade all three, but including one in a deal is a distinct possibility. It is less likely the Cardinals would move the right-hander considered the best in the minors right now, Jack Flaherty, who made major strides last year in Palm Beach and is scheduled to begin next season at Double A Springfield.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains