2. New York Yankees
There were some reports at the Trade Deadline that suggested that the Cardinals were very close to trading Carlson to the Yankees, but it is believed that the return package was what shut the trade down.
It was almost the second consecutive season where the two franchises with the most World Series championships made a deadline trade, as the Cardinals shipped Harrison Bader to the Yankees for Jordan Montgomery in 2022.
The Yankees are in need for athleticism and hitters with bat-to-ball skills, which is why they nearly traded for Carlson, and have also shown interest in fellow Cardinal hitters Brendan Donovan and Alec Burleson.
Now that the Yankees lost the aforementioned Bader to waivers in August, they are looking for a center fielder again. But what may prevent the Cardinals from trading Carlson to New York is that if the Cardinals were not interested in the return for Carlson, then why would the Yankees offer more after the disappointing injury-riddled season Carlson just endured?
Unless the Cardinals were willing to include somebody with more value, like a Donovan to that equation, then that might convince the Yankees to deal away a more controllable arm that the Cardinals are desperately searching for this off-season.
In 2023 the Yankees were 20th in the league in strikeouts per game offensively and they had the 6th most errors in the league, Carlson is just one of a handful of players on the Cardinals that could help the Yankees in those areas.