Jack Flaherty to the Baltimore Orioles
Orioles received: RHP Jack Flaherty
Cardinals received: 2B Cesar Prieto, LHP Drew Rom, and RHP Zack Showalter
Once there were only 60 minutes left to go before the deadline, there seemed to be a bit of panic among Cardinals fans about whether or not Jack Flaherty would be dealt by the club. It was clear that the Justin Verlander and Dylan Cease sweepstakes were holding up the market significantly, causing teams to pause on Flaherty talks.
Eventually, a deal was struck with the Orioles, with the Dodgers potentially interested and the Rays reportedly going hard after Flaherty. The Cardinals' got three names in return, all with very different profiles.
Cesar Prieto, 24, has posted an .868 OPS in 335 at-bats this year, including an .836 OPS at the Triple-A level. He can play all over the infield and provides the Cardinals with another versatile infield option long-term. He lacks the upside that a Saggase has but is still an interesting name nonetheless.
Drew Rom has posted a 5.34 ERA with 100 SO in just 86 innings this year, and although he does miss bats, he projects as a back-end of the rotation starter at best, but more likely a swingman or bullpen arm. Not bad depth at all for the organization.
Those were the two players reported in the early minutes after the deal went down, but later, it was reported that 19-year-old prospect Zack Showalter was also coming over to St. Louis. Showalter was in High-A at the time for the Orioles and had a 2.37 ERA in 9 starts this year. Showalter is honestly the most interesting name in the package for me, as he is that lottery ticket prospect who could be forgotten in a few years, become a legit prospect with high-end upside, or anywhere in between.
Did I think the Cardinals could get a bit more? Sure. I think I would have rather had a prospect better than Prieto as the "high-ranking prospect" in the deal, but I think it was a quality deal nonetheless. I heard rumblings that the Orioles were looking to acquire both Flaherty and Dylan Carlson, so if that had happened, a stronger package would have come back to St. Louis.