Why the St. Louis Cardinals must acquire Max Fried if he's available

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Package #3 - MLB ready bats and a future arm

The last trade I put together would be intriguing if the Braves wanted to acquire a stronger mix of young position players and young arms, something that leaned much heavier one way or the other in the first two packages.

I could see the Braves wanting one more low level prospect in this package, but this deal sets them up with pieces for their lineup and rotation for years to come. Like the first deal, Atlanta acquires a high upside outfielder in Carlson who keeps their outfield defense elite and could turn into a very good bat in their lineup

Gordon Graceffo was someone they wanted to avoid trading in the Sean Murphy deal, but I would have to think he would be on the table for an ace like Fried. Sure, the Cardinals lack arms, but that's exactly why they would go after Fried. Graceffo is their #7 ranked prospect and projects to be a really good middle of the rotation arm, but there are hopes that he could be more than that. This still leaves the Cardinals with promising arms like Tink Hence, Connor Hjerpe, Michael McGreevy, and Matthew Libreatore, so I would not be too concerned with giving up Graceffo for Fried.

Juan Yepez actually came over to St. Louis in the Matt Adams deal, and would give the Braves a good DH option for years to come. Yepez showed the signs of a very productive big league hitter in 2022, and could really benefit from being in another deep lineup like the Braves.

What do you think of a Max Fried trade for the Cardinals? If he were to be available in the trade market, would you make the deal? And if so, what would you give up for Fried? Comment your takes below!

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