Cardinals: 3 Dylan Carlson trades with the Dodgers that make too much sense
By Josh Jacobs
Trade #2 - The Dustin May deal
As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of arms in the Dodgers system that could be of interest to St. Louis, including that of Dustin May.
As was the case with the Gonsolin trade, a Dustin May-Dylan Carlson trade would incur risk on both sides of the deal, as May has already battled a number of injuries in his career but has the stuff of a future ace. During the 2020 and 2021 seasons, May had a 2.62 ERA with 79 strikeouts in 79 innings before tearing his UCL. Upon his return in 2022, May struggled to stay on the mound after some other nagging injuries, but continued to show why he has ace like stuff.
For the Dodgers, trading away a young starter like May would be a tough pill to shallow, but Dylan Carlson carries a higher floor while maintaining a high ceiling as a player. At worst, Carlson is elite defender who can start start everyday in center field, and if his bat regains form or even develops to the point scouts though it could, he becomes a great outfielder for Los Angeles. The club still has other young arms like Miller, Ryan Pepiot, and Gavin Stone to look forward too, so parting with this young arm wouldn't hurt as much as it would other organizations.
Because the Cardinals are incurring more risky in this trade, I have them acquiring left-handed reliver Caleb Ferguson as well. Ferguson is just 25-years old and coming off of a great 2022 season, where he had a 1.82 ERA in 34.2 innings pitched. This would strengthen the Cardinals bullpen even further and help them to compete with other contenders come playoff time.
I see the argument against trading for an arm with injury concerns like May, but as has been stated this off-season, the Cardinals have to find a way to get a front-line starter for their rotation. This is a unique scenario where the Cardinals could grab one without giving away more than one of their young assets. If May does not pan out, he is still likely a good middle of the rotation arm when healthy, and the Cardinals still have the capital to make another trade.
If pitching does not become the center of the negotiations, the third deal I could see St. Louis doing is in a similar vein to what the Atlanta Braves just did.