OF Dylan Carlson
Now this one is a little different than Tyler O'Neill. Carlson made his major league debut in the COVID stricken 2020 season and is still only 24 years old compared to O'Neill's 28. Also, Carlson's skillset is a bit different than O'Neill's as well. The most home runs Carlson has in a season is 18 in 2021 and holds a career .394 slugging percentage as of August 17th. That's not exactly impressive for a switch-hitting centerfielder that your organization once touted as a "can't miss prospect."
It also gets worse when you isolate his handedness vs RHP for his career and realize he's a career .221 hitter vs RHP as a lefty. His WRC+ is 88 as well (100 being the league average). You compare that to his 137 career WRC+ and .471 slug as a RH batter and you can see the tale of two players and why many have questioned if he should just give up left-handed batting all together and bat righty full-time.
There's also another aspect to Carlson's game that has come into the picture more over the last year and a half. Injuries. As the aforementioned Tyler O'Neill, Carlson has spent a considerable amount of time on the IL in recent times. Though not nearly the amount of games that O'Neill has missed on the IL, Carlson lost 27 days earlier in the season with an ankle injury and is currently on the IL again with an oblique injury and a resurgence of ankle pain from earlier in the year. Last year, he spent two separate occasions on the IL with a hamstring injury and a thumb injury that was cited to have been a lingering injury he played through that sapped a lot of his power. He only spent one trip to the IL in his most productive season to date in 2021, a 10-day stint with a wrist injury.
So, why would A, the Cardinals look to trade a young controllable player who has yet to live up to his potential, or B, a team looking to trade for Carlson who has yet to put together consistency and live up to his hype? Well, he is exactly that. A young controllable outfielder under contract until 2027. He plays an above-average CF, switch hits, and hits LHP very well. There's a lot to like in his upside and a team with a surplus in outfielders could probably be persuaded or interested in moving him if the price is right. Especially if that price is an impact starter for 2024.
Personally, I'm in the "You shouldn't trade Carlson, yet." camp. I feel he's been struck at times with some bad luck in these injuries and poor management of them as well by the club. I can see a situation where Carlson gets traded and goes off to have a nice career elsewhere. That would hurt for a team to move a former 1st round homegrown talent, that has been searching for outfield stability over the last decade it feels. But, if you want to get what you're looking for and get the pitching you need, it's going to come at a cost. Dylan Carlson can help move that needle and I think the front office could capitalize on his value and shop him this winter.