Cardinals send Hicks to Toronto, Montgomery to Texas with more deadline deals likely to follow

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals all but officially turned the calendar to 2024 on Sunday with two trades that sent free agents to be Jordan Montgomery and Jordan Hicks to Texas and Toronto.

They likely won’t be the last moves made by the Cardinals in advance of Tuesday’s trading deadline.

“Do I anticipate more to come? Probably,” said John Mozeliak, the team’s president of baseball operations. “Roughly 48 hours left. We’re going to roll our sleeves up, reassess where we are. We might change some of our goals now because of what we were able to accomplish. We will talk through that this evening then prep for tomorrow and Tuesday.

“I don’t think we’re done.”

The Cardinals acquired two young starting pitchers from Toronto in exchange for Hicks and picked up three players, including an infielder, from the Rangers for Montgomery and Chris Stratton, also set to be a free agent this winter.

It is still expected that the Cardinals will try to trade free agent to be Jack Flaherty as well as shortstop Paul DeJong, who has an option on his contract for next season, and perhaps additional players.

Mozeliak said he came to the realization a couple of weeks ago that trades like the ones the Cardinals made on Sunday, and will make before Tuesday, were necessary because of the way this season has gone.

The win over the Cubs on Sunday left the Cardinals with a 47-60 record, trying to stay out of last place in the NL Central.

“Obviously this year has not gone like we planned so we really wanted to focus on what 2024 and beyond would look like,” Mozeliak said. “We had to do this. It’s not a happy moment, but we certainly are excited abot the future opportunity we were able to acquire today.

“Today we had to take the poison pill. We had to make changes. They began. Forty-eight hours left. We’ll see where it takes us.”

Here is a look at the five players the Cardinals acquired on Sunday:

From Toronto

Sem Robberse – A 21-year-old righthander, Robberse pitched in the Futures Game this year and was pitching at Double A New Hampshire, where he was 3-5 with a 4.06 ERA. A native of the Netherlands, Robberse was ranked as the number seven prospect in the Blue Jays organization by He will be assigned to Memphis.

Adam Kloffenstein – Also a righthander, Kloffenstein also was in the Double A rotation for the Blue Jays, going 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA. The 22-year-old recorded 105 strikeouts in 89 innings. He was a third-round selection by Toronto in the 2018 draft out of a Texas high school. He also will be reporting to Memphis.

From Texas

Tekoah Roby – A 21-year-old righthander, Roby has missed the last month with an injury after making 10 starts in Double A. He was a third-round pick in the 2020 draft out of high school in Florida. He will report to the Cardinals’ rehab program in Jupiter but Mozeliak said the organizations expects him to pitch competitively before the end of this season. He was ranked by as the 11th best prospect in the Rangers’ system.

John King – A lefthanded reliever, King will be coming directly to the Cardinals. King, 28, has spent four years in the majors with the Rangers, pitching in a total of 87 innings.

Thomas Saggese – The only-non pitcher acquired, Saggese is an infielder who the Cardinals see in the “Brendan Donovan mode” of being able to play multiple positions. The 21-year-old Saggese was in Double A and will join Springfield.  A fifth-round pick out of high school in California in 2020, Saggese was hitting .314 with 15 homers and 78 RBIs in 92 games. He was ranked by as the Rangers’ 14th best prospect.

Mozeliak had said the Cardinals would be prioritizing “pitching, pitching and pitching” in their deadline deals, and he believes they did that on Sunday – which might allow them to go in other directions with any additional moves.

“If there is something that might not be a pitcher we might now pursue it,” Mozeliak said. “A lot of what we were focusing on the last week or so was finding the right pitchers … We feel like we got a lot of pitching today.”

Another player who might be on his way to St. Louis soon, to get an early start on competing for a starting role in 2024 following the trading deadline, is shortstop Masyn Winn, the top prospect in the organization who has been at Memphis all season.

“He’s having a tremendous year and we are super excited about what we are seeing out of him,” Mozeliak said. “I don’t know when that button will be pushed. Could I imagine seeing him in the big leagues in 2023? Yes. The timing of that is, I don’t know.”

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains

Photo by AP courtesy of KSDK Sports


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