In a recent report from SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets are opening to trading both Carlos Carrasco and James McCann. After signing Willson Contreras, the Cardinals should stay far away from McCann but should kick the tires on Carrasco.
Andy Martino says it perfectly in his tweet. Even after the busy offseason, the Mets have had in the starting pitcher market, offering up Carlos Carrasco in trades does not make any sense, as he is coming off a stellar season for the Mets, and would be a great target for the Cardinals.
Carrasco won 15 games for New York last season and aided the team to one of its best regular seasons in recent memory. His 15 wins were the most he has had in a season since 2018 with the Cleveland Indians. More importantly than his high win total, he strikes people out and, for the most part, keeps the ball from going out of the ballpark. In 152 innings last season, Carrasco recorded 152 strikeouts and surrendered 17 home runs.
He also is not that expensive when talking about pitchers who could win close to 20 games. He is in the final year of his contract and will be making $14 million in 2023 in his age-36 season. The age is a concern, but if you acquire him, there is no long-term risk.
The Cardinals are full of pitching depth. St. Louis has five to eight starters who could be in rotations all around the league. Despite last season's struggles, Dakota Hudson and Matthew Liberatore should be serviceable pitchers in 2023. The rotation is full of four or five starters, as Adam Wainwright and Jordan Montgomery could slide into the four or five-caliber discussion. Carrasco would give you a Jack Flaherty or Miles Mikolas production and would slot in more as a number three pitcher.
The possible return for the Mets should not be astronomical, which makes kicking the tires on the 36-year-old intriguing. Yes, the Cardinals should ask the Mets to eat some of the salary, but if St. Louis can stomach $14 million more on the payroll, it should only cost a mid to low-level prospect.
His age is a concern. If the Cardinals sign him, St. Louis would have three starters in the rotation who are 33 years old or older. However, those concerns should be wiped away after posting a great season last year and finishing with a sub-four ERA.
Carrasco isn't the ace he once was, nor is he the ace the Cardinals need at the front of the rotation. However, the Mets have an abundance of arms, and it's clear everyone does not have a seat at the table. This would be a great time for St. Louis to add a good pitcher without giving up the farm in return.