New York fills multiple holes, Cardinals bolster their pitching staff
Cardinals receive: RHP Clarke Schmidt, RHP Clayton Beeter, and RHP Randy Vasquez
Yankees receive: RHP Jack Flaherty, OF Dylan Carlson, RHP Jordan Hicks, and C Andrew Knizner
At this point, it would be more surprising if a deal between the Cardinals and Yankees did not happen at this year's trade deadline. It makes too much sense from both sides not to pull off a deal.
Part of the difficulty of predicting a trade between the two teams is if there are so many ways it could go. The Yankees need help in their outfield, starting rotation, bullpen, and at catcher. The Cardinals not only have pieces to fill each of those needs, they have multiple options for each one. The clubs could pull off a large, multi-player package, or just look to make a smaller move with one another.
I've already thrown out a lot of trade between the two sides, but I have not yet explored the idea of a trade this large yet.
The Yankees essentially have an answer for all four of their needs in this deal. Jack Flaherty can round out their strong rotation with another arm that can play above the role of a number four or five starter in different moments. Dylan Carlson stabilizes the outfield with really solid defense, a great bat against lefties, and someone who may begin to turn things around against right-handed pitching with more at-bats.
Jordan Hicks helps shorten games even more for the Yankees, and Andrew Knizner is one of the best types of catchers to acquire at a deadline. Pitchers love him, he works hard, and he's consistent behind the plate. With so little time to learn a staff, he'll be a quick learner compared to others.
For the Cardinals, they parlay multiple of their expiring assets, and one with a lot of value and control in Carlson, into a strong package from New York. Clarke Schmidt is 6-6 with a 4.33 ERA while striking out about a batter per nine innings. He's young with multiple years of club control ahead of him, and should already slot in as a number three or four starter for the Cardinals. Outside of one of the Mariners' pitchers, he may be one of the best arms with club control that they could realistically get.
I've been accused a bit of "Beetermania", but I include Clayton Beeter a lot in packages because he's been directly linked to St. Louis already. There is growing concern that Beeter may be more of a reliever long term. Honestly, the stuff he possesses is worth a shot on him as a starter, and if worst case he is a dynamic bullpen arm, so be it.
Randy Vasquez won't blow your socks off, but he's another young starter who looks like a future number four or five in their rotation. Why would the Cardinals want more of those kinds of arms? Well, they keep having to fill those holes with rental arms (Quintana, Happ, Lester, etc.) or give out multi-year deals (Steven Matz). If the Cardinals can have 2-3 starters that are cost controlled in their rotation, that allows them to spend the bigger money on Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, or whatever ace is available.