Why the St. Louis Cardinals must acquire Max Fried if he's available
By Josh Jacobs
Package #1 - The Nolan Gorman/Dylan Carlson package
When considering this move, I put together three different kinds of packages that the Braves could be interested in when it comes to trading away Max Fried. The first offer is a replica of what the Cardinals offered to the Athletics for Sean Murphy, but could be a good framework for a Fried trade as well.
It was reported that the Cardinals offered Nolan Gorman and Dylan Carlson to Oakland for Sean Murphy, and the pair could make for a great framework to acquire the Braves ace.
Using Baseball Trade Values as a reference, this trade would actually be an overpay on the Cardinals part, giving up $89 million in value while acquiring a $57.4 million value player in Fried. While Baseball Trade Values is not how all teams value players, it tends to be a good benchmark. I personally think they value Carlson higher than baseball does, as they have him as a $49.9 million value player, just slightly less than Fried.
Regardless, if the Braves looked to trade Fried, especially to a National League foe, it would likely require a very strong offer like this. The Braves don't need to trade Fried, so if they choose to, they will want a ransom. This package sets of Atlanta very nicely moving forward.
Carlson can join Michael Harris III and Ronald Acuna Jr. to form perhaps the best outfield in baseball, especially defensively. The Braves would have Carlson bat toward the bottom of their order, taking pressure off him to be a "star" in their lineup. Gorman can split time at DH and second base for the Braves, and after D'Arnaud leaves in free agency after the 2023 season, could assume the DH role full time. Woodford gives the Braves another young arm to rely on for the next few seasons.
Again, it is hard to tell what exactly the Braves would want in a Fried trade, but this kind of framework would not surprise me at all. I do have two other kinds of deals they could look at as well, with the next including one of the Cardinals active starting pitchers.