If not for an underwhelming month to finish out the year, Clarke Schmidt would've had immense trade value if the Yankees thought about making him available. That said, the Yankees should never consider trading him for Alex Verdugo under any circumstance. Even if his value plummets to zilch.
Schmidt deserves credit, though. He made 32 starts in 2023. He finished with a 4.64 ERA, 4.42 FIP, 1.35 WHIP and 149 strikeouts in 159 innings. That's pretty good for somebody's first full season as a starting pitcher ... especially after he dug himself into a hole with a 6.84 ERA in his first six starts of the year.
The right-hander was undeniably the Yankees' second-best pitcher from May-July and is a controllable asset through 2027. Though he can be extremely helpful as a No. 5 starter, which would deepen the Yankees' rotation as they build it out, perhaps Randy Vásquez is better? Will Warren? Chase Hampton? Drew Thorpe? Luis Gil will be back in 2024, too.
The Yankees have options at the moment that are more highly-touted than Schmidt was when he was rising through the ranks. That shouldn't automatically have them considering a trade, but cheap starting pitching is in the highest demand, and a team with an overflow of lefty bats might make a good match.
Perhaps another talk with the Cardinals will result in a more sensible deal for the Yanks this time around.