Los Angeles Angels
How would Flaherty help the Angels? Well, they tend to go with a six-man rotation to give superstar Shohei Ohtani a bit of extra rest. Their sixth starter lately has been Jaime Barria, who has produced a very nice 3.31 ERA over six starts and a dozen relief appearances totaling 54.1 IP. While Barria's performance has stabilized the back end of the rotation, the middle portion is looking somewhat soft.
Free-agent signee Tyler Anderson has posted a 5.25 ERA in his 15 starts and a bulk reliever appearance Friday following starter Griffin Canning, who is sporting a 4.62 ERA over 14 starts. Second starter Patrick Sandoval has a 4.41 ERA that is very similar to Flaherty. And then there's Ohtani's recent cracked fingernail and blister issues. Simply put, the Angels could use more rotation depth.
Flaherty would bring his No. 3 starter skills to Anaheim (it's not really Los Angeles, not even the same county), pushing a lesser pitcher further back in, or possibly out of, the rotation. This should have the domino effect of improving the bullpen.
It's debatable whether the Angels will make a playoff push with Mike Trout's recent broken hamate bone and injuries to other players. However, making the most of what is likely Ohtani's last season with the team seems worthwhile for owner Arte Moreno, who in January backed off from selling the team, presumably in the hopes of capturing a World Series championship.
Los Angeles has a trio of Double-A pitchers - Jack Kochanowicz, Coleman Crow, and Ky Bush - among their top 10 prospects, at least according to FanGraphs. While these names might not be instantly recognizable to most fans, perhaps a bulk approach of bringing in multiple arms and seeing which ones might work out could be the foundation of a trade return. With as many pitching issues as the Cardinals have, acquiring more potential solutions has a solid chance of working out.