Cardinals should have traded Dylan Carlson
The Cardinals, depending on who you believe, could have traded for Juan Soto. Instead, they didn’t want to part ways with Dylan Carlson, who is rapidly falling down the outfield depth chart.
Carlson is a former No. 1 prospect who, at his best, was thought to be a pillar of the team’s farm system. Hell, he was. St. Louis wouldn’t include him in a trade package for Juan Freaking Soto. Instead, Soto was eventually dealt to the San Diego Padres and A.J. Preller, who didn’t have any such restrictions on their trade package.
Carlson is a fine player, he’s just not Soto, and never will be. After finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2021, Carlson took a step back last season and is hitting just .242 through May 3. He’s a decent outfield arm, but certainly not the best of the bunch in St. Louis.
Worst of all, the Cards have a crowded outfield. Jordan Walker, the Cards top prospect, could have taken Carlson’s spot with ease if he were traded away. Instead, St. Louis now has a logjam at a premium position while their pitching staff blows any chance of future success.
Sure, it’s a depressing outlook. The Cardinals could still trade Carlson — he’s been mentioned in trade packages as recently as last week. But they won’t bring back a player like Soto, and that’s the point I’m making.