If I was the general manager of the Cardinals, the following players would be deemed off limits to potential trade partners:
Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, Marco Gonzales, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong and Yadier Molina.
I would include Randal Grichuk on a short list of players who are virtually unavailable. But there are scenarios I could imagine in which it would make sense to include Grichuk. They include a potential deal for Giancarlo Stanton, an established superstar who plays the same position as the St. Louis rookie.
The Miami Marlins remain insistent that Stanton won't be traded. But, if they can't sign him to a long term contract, this winter will be their best opportunity to trade the slugger and get a huge bounty in return.
The Redbirds have countered that Oscar Taveras will not be traded. But he's the obvious top trade chip if St. Louis were to try to make a blockbuster deal.
If the birds opt not to travel the big deal route, an interesting potential trade target for the Cardinals would be Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson who has been rumored to be available this off-season.
Donaldson strikes out a lot. He whiffed 130 times in 2014 and 110 times in 2013. But he also gets on base at a very good clip for a slugger. He had a .342 on base percentage last season. But it 2013 he got on at a .384 clip. He's got a career .268 batting average. But in 2013 he hit .301.
But the most important thing Donaldson would bring to St. Louis is a right handed power bat. He's clubbed 29 and 24 homers the last two season while playing half of his games in one of the toughest parks for hitters in the major leagues. He also drove in an average of 95 runs the past two seasons.
Donaldson, 28, would help the Cardinals to be less one dimensional due to too many lefty batters. If the Cardinals put Donaldson at third base they could move Matt Carpenter back to first base where he played extensively in 2012 while Lance Berkman was injured. Adams doesn't drive in runs as well as Donaldson and he doesn't get on base as often with a .323 career on-base percentage compared to Donaldson's career mark of .347.
While Donaldson has played the vast majority of his games at third base, he's got 10 games behind the plate on his resume, potentially making the St. Louis bench better by allowing the reserve catcher to be used as a pinch hitter. Donaldson is serviceable enough to be used as an acceptable emergency third catcher.