The Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals made a deal at the 2023 MLB trade deadline, with Jordan Hicks heading north to become a part of the Toronto bullpen. Now in the offseason, could the two teams come together on a trade that would send a pitcher back to St. Louis in what could be considered a "change of scenery deal?"
MLB rumors: St. Louis Cardinals-Toronto Blue Jays trade partners again?
While Toronto general manager Ross Atkins has said all of the right things about Manoah and his potential place with the Blue Jays in 2024 and beyond, there is no question that last year was tough for both the 25-year-old right-hander and the Blue Jays. During a drama-filled season, Toronto tried to figure out the best way to get him back on track in a year that included demotions to Triple-A and reports of Manoah refusing to report to Triple-A, causing akward moments for all involved.
Those moments certainly didn't help Manoah's case after the pitcher went from an All-Star to someone who lasted just 87.1 innings in 19 starts last season, logging a 5.87 ERA/6.01 FIP/1.740 WHIP.
While Manoah's 2023 was underwhelming, he is still under contract with the team through the 2027 campaign. Making a reported $746,000 last season, Manoah certainly isn't a drain on Toronto's payroll, so they're not likely to pursue a deal unless they feel the relationship can't be mended and Manoah can't contribute in a bigger way next season.
Coming out of the MLB GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Manoah was likely a name brought up in discussions by other teams to see what it would take to land him and if the price would be fair. Among the teams who should be asking about that price are the Cardinals, a team that will need to rebuild its rotation and who could conceivably take a chance on a Manoah deal without losing too much.
There has been talk of what a deal might look like between the two teams, with Dylan Carlson going to Toronto in exchange for Manoah ... but would it really cost that much? It depends on how much the Blue Jays still really value Manoah and believe he can not only perform on the mound, but also not cause any drama either.
On paper, a Cardinals-Blue Jays trade does make sense and could benefit both sides. What do you think?