Jack Flaherty trade idea No. 2) Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks clock started a year earlier than anticipated. This has forced their hand at the Trade Deadline. They must either decide to sell their players who can fetch a high return, such as Christian Walker, buy MLB talent to beef up the roster, or stay put and not mess up a good thing.
With Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly heading the rotation, the D-Backs have plenty of top-end talent. However, there is quite the drop-off after those two. Tommy Henry, Ryne Nelson, and Brandon Pfaadt are currently listed as the next three starters. If the Diamondbacks intend to compete this regular season and make a possible playoff push, they could use another strong starter. Enter: Jack Flaherty.
While Arizona's farm system isn't as deep and strong as the Dodgers', they do have some pieces that can be moved. Brandon Pfaadt could be an option, but Arizona seems committed to keeping him on the roster. He is also ranked 21st in all of baseball. The Diamondbacks are most certainly not trading their top prospects, Jordan Lawlar and Druw Jones. There is quite a drop-off after that, as Devyison De Los Santos is their next best prospect, and he isn't ranked in the top 100 in baseball or top 10 for his position.
Therefore, the Cardinals could target MLB talent that the Diamondbacks have. Alek Thomas seems to fit the bill. With Dylan Carlson more than likely being shipped off, the Cardinals could use a proven center fielder. Alek Thomas would be just that. Once a top-100 prospect, Thomas has since graduated. His major-league numbers are not very strong offensively (.233/.274/.365 for an OPS+ of 79). Thomas's defense is where he shines the most. In just over 175 games, he has accrued 5 defensive runs saved. He is ranked in the 72nd percentile in outfielder jump, 81st percentile in outs above average, and 85th percentile in sprint speed.
The Cardinals would have to send some more to get Alek Thomas, as the Diamondbacks love him in center. Another possibility would be the Cardinals seeing a return of Blake Walston (No. 5 in Arizona's farm system) and Landon Sims, among others. It's also plausible Mozeliak can swing a trade for Pfaadt, but that's highly unlikely, as he seems to fit into the Diamondbacks' 2024 and beyond plans.