Mike Axisa, in his bold predictions for 2023, had the Cardinals swapping Dylan Carlson for Trevor Rogers
The St. Louis Cardinals have been, and will be, connected to a trade for a starting pitcher for the foreseeable future. A move just makes too much sense. The Cardinals have a clear need at the top of their rotation, and have plenty of young talent, in places of depth, to get a deal done.
Mike Axisa of CBS Sports made his bold predictions for the 2023 season today and had the Cardinals trading away Dylan Carlson for 2021 NL All-Star Trevor Rogers. Axisa described the deal as a "pure baseball trade", something that would fill needs for both teams and equate to fair value for both sides, even if some secondary pieces need to be involved. I think this trade is worth examing for both sides.
For the Cardinals, I could see a scenario where a deal like this comes to fruition, but only under specific circumstances, and even then, I don't think I like this for the club. There is a very real chance that Rogers ends up being one of, if not the best, starting pitcher available this deadline. Look around the league at the rebuilding teams. There really aren't any "clear-cut" candidates who will be available at this year's deadline. Sure, if the White Sox, Phillies, Rays, Brewers Guardians, or another team stumbles, names like Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Aaron Nola, Tyler Glasnow, Corbin Burnes, and Shane Bieber could become available. But it is very possible that none of those guys will be available.
If that's the case, and the Cardinals desperately need an upgrade in their rotation, a name like Rogers could make sense. He has plenty of club control still remaining (not a free agent until after the 2026 season, like Carlson), and still has a lot of room to develop as a starter. He did struggle a lot last year (5.47 ERA in 107 innings), but if he can recapture any of his All-Star form (2.64 ERA in 133 innings), then he becomes a very attractive target.
The Cardinals would acquire a good starter who is cost controlled with room to grow for the next few seasons. Feels like a Cardinals trade if you ask me.
For Miami, a deal centered around Carlson makes a lot of sense, as they are rich with starting pitching but extremely thin in the outfield. Carlson would represent a player with a good floor, and the potential to develop into one of the better center fielders in today's game. Seems like a pretty good option for a club that doesn't really need Rogers.
Would I do this trade today or any time soon? Definitely not. If Rogers performs well this year, the starting pitching market is thin, and Carlson is clearly the fourth outfielder on this club, would I revisit it? Yes. For now, though, I trust Carlson's talent too much to give up on him for a player like Rogers, even if there is potential there. Give Carslon a few months to prove himself, and then survey other options before turning the attention to a trade like this.