3 available Cardinals trade targets Yankees should pursue during St. Louis' spiral

St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Cardinals Trade Target: Dylan Carlson

Switch-hitter, center field chops, former top prospect pedigree scuffling a bit at the MLB level ... yeah, this feels like a Yankees acquisition to a tee. Move over, Aaron Hicks! Make room for ... a guy who is a lot like you were seven years ago, when the Twins jettisoned you to New York.

Dylan Carlson, also just 24, finished third in the Rookie of the Year race in 2021 with a 115 OPS+ and 18 bombs. He was reportedly off the table in Juan Soto trade talks last summer, but much like Soto himself, has struggled to find his footing ever since, posting a roughly average 99 OPS+ last year and a 76 mark this season.

Could the Yankees provide him a jolt and reignite the spirit behind that 76? Carlson's metrics are all still rock solid, and the speedy center fielder excels on the defensive end, ranking in the 92nd percentile in early-season OAA and 87th in arm strength. He rarely walks, but the rest of his offensive profile is trending up -- and, above all else, he's already shown the ability to translate his skills to the MLB level. He isn't starting from scratch.

Do the Yankees have enough pitching to offer the Cardinals to convince them to part with Carlson? Clarke Schmidt obviously cannot be a centerpiece here, so they'll have to hope the Cards believe in the big-league future of players like Will Warren and Matt Krook. They'll also probably have to add a juicy piece like Oswald Peraza to get this deal done.

It might be easier to obtain a Cardinals slugger who's already on the outs ...