Cardinals: 3 Dylan Carlson trades with the Dodgers that make too much sense

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres / Rob Leiter/GettyImages
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Trade #1 - Cardinals get an All-Star starting pitcher

The most obvious need the Cardinals have is for a front line starting pitcher, and that need could be filled in a swap with the Dodgers.

Tony Gonsolin is coming off a major breakout season with the Dodgers, going 16-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 130.1 innings and a respectable 8.2 K/9. In 272.2 career innings since 2019, he has an incredible 2.51 ERA. Gonsolin has just two years of service time, meaning the Cardinals would have four more years of club control, albeit it all arbitration years are Gonsolin is a super-two player.

Why exactly would the Dodgers be interested in trading away such a productive player? First, this would seem to be the ultimate "sell-high" kind of move, as even after an elite season like he just had, he didn't even place in the Cy Young voting this past season. Gonsolin is already 28-years old, so even with the team control, he isn't necessarily a young arm. There seem to be questions about whether or not Gonsolin is valued by the Dodgers as an impact arm in October as well.

Second, even with Walker Buehler likely missing all of the 2023 season, the club still has immense pitching depth with Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Grove, and top prospect Bobby Miller in the wings. Gonsolin could be expendable for the right price.

This is a pretty risky move for both clubs. If Carlson develops into the player many project him to be, he would become an extremely valuable center fielder who gets on base at a great clip, has good power, and plays elite defense. If Gonsolin is more than just a regular season pitcher, the Dodgers gave away a front-line starter.

This is a swap I could see both teams talking themselves into or talking themselves out of, making for a very interesting swap for the clubs. If Gonsolin isn't the pitcher the clubs want to swap, there's another arm that I think would be very intriguing for both sides.