3 ways the Cardinals and Yankees make a Dylan Carlson trade

The Cardinals, for the first time under Mozeliak, are sellers at the trade deadline. Rumors are swirling around a number of players, including Dylan Carlson.
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages
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Cardinals and Yankees trade option 3

Cardinals Receive: RHP Clayton Beeter, RHP Nestor Cortes, 3B Josh Donaldson

Yankees Receive: OF Dylan Carlson, RHP Jack Flaherty

Of the options considered thus far, this is by far the most interesting. It is also the least likely to come to fruition.

The Cardinals could receive an established big league starter with multiple years of control left in Cortes, who stumbled out of the gate in 2023 and never found his groove. He's been banged up, and when healthy has struggled to the tune of a 5.16 ERA this season. However, this comes on the heels of two effective seasons in which Cortes was significantly better than the league average.

Cortes has been bad enough that the Yankees may be willing to sell lower on him, and the deal could be further sweetened if the Cardinals agreed to take on the Josh Donaldson contract. Luckily for the Cardinals, Donaldson reaches free agency at the end of this season, meaning the money would only hurt them in the near future. Moreover, moving Donaldson would free the Yankees to look for other 3B help, which would significantly bolster their lineup.

Donaldson would likely be DFA'd by the Cardinals, though they may find a place for him by trading another of their infielders, such as Tommy Edman or Paul DeJong. Though undesirable, taking on his contract makes the Yankees significantly more likely to move an established starter like Cortes. Adding Flaherty to the package would boost the Yankees rotation for a potential playoff run and could encourage them to include a prospect like the aforementioned Beeter. Flaherty has been significantly better than Cortes in 2023 and would thus serve as an upgrade for the rest of 2023.

One more reason this trade could happen is the unusually high premium assets have fetched at the deadline this year. While discussing the Giolito deal, Benjamin Hochman noted that Flaherty could potentially fetch Beeter on his own.

Like the first two, there are pros and cons for both teams in these deals. The Yankees could clear room for impact talent in the upper minors and also offload a significant amount of money while bringing in a controllable outfielder. The Cardinals would receive a pitcher who certainly has not pitched up to his potential in 2023, but banking on a resurgence is always a risky proposition. Whether the Cardinals and Yankees link up this week remains to be seen, but there are certainly plenty of ways to make it happen.