Cardinals and Yankees trade option 1
Cardinals Receive: RHP Clayton Beeter, RHP Clarke Schmidt
Yankees Receive: OF Dylan Carlson, RHP Chris Stratton
In this first scenario, the Cardinals package Carlson and Stratton to acquire some of the Yankees' young arms. Stratton's inclusion in this deal is simple: he has been an effective reliever in 2023 and contending teams are always seeking to fortify their bullpens at the deadline. Schmidt is not a new name to many Cardinals fans, as his name has been kicked around previously.
Clarke Schmidt, in his first season as a full-time starter at the major league level, has been roughly league average. He's striking out almost one batter per inning and has maintained a decently low walk rate. His 4.33 ERA is decent, but his high spin rates suggest that improvement is possible. Even a slight increase in strikeout rate would make him an excellent fourth starter. Most evaluators view this as his ceiling, so while he would not fix the Cardinals' front-end pitching problems, he would solidify the back end of the rotation.
In this scenario, the Cardinals would also receive right-hander, Clayton Beeter. Beeter, the Yankees' 12th ranked prospect, is having a fabulous year split between AA and AAA. He's pitched to a 2.36 ERA in 80 innings. Perhaps what stands out most about Beeter is his strong strikeout rate of 10.8 batters per nine innings pitched. He's also been linked to the Cardinals on multiple occasions. The only true drawback in his profile is his high walk rate. He has run high walk rates at just about every stop throughout his career, so this is nothing new. Even with these high walk rates, however, Beeter profiles as a strong middle-rotation pitcher. Improved control would raise his ceiling even further.
Both the Cardinals and Yankees may have hesitancy when reviewing this trade. This deal, after all, does not solve the Cardinals' biggest problem: their lack of an ace. Additionally, Beeter may not be ready for the big leagues by Opening Day in 2024. He could instead be a midseason call-up, and his questionable control will certainly cause the Cardinals' personnel to pause. They may not be willing to part with such a talented outfielder for pitchers with lower ceilings. Meanwhile, the Yankees may not value Carlson the same way the Cardinals do. His questionable power tool may force the Yankees to consider keeping their valuable young pitching.