New piece of Cardinals trade bait emerging
Mark Feinsand reports that Dylan Carlson was a trade piece discussion along with Tyler O'Neill, who was ultimately traded, in his latest for MLB.com:
"St. Louis received interest from multiple teams earlier this winter, though the Cards ultimately dealt O’Neill instead. Carlson broke in with a solid rookie season in 2021 (18 home runs, .780 OPS in 149 games), but he has struggled since, hitting 13 homers with a .680 OPS in 204 games in 2022-23)."
Both O'Neill and Carlson have struggled to break into the regular starting rotation largely due to injury. In September, Carlson went under the knife for an ankle surgery and hit the 60-day IL, ending his season. He gained his starting role when O'Neill was out and then oscillated between the bench and outfield starting lineup.
As a fielder, he's average with good arm strength, and his batting is a bit too small to glean anything too conclusive from. That said, he tends to be a low-strikeout batter, but a soft-hitting tendency keeps him from putting up good numbers at the plate.
For that reason, it's difficult to see the Cardinals getting an incendiary return for Carlson, but fans can dream.
As it stands, Carlson will come off the bench behind Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, and Jordan Walker left to right, with his most frequently played outfield spots being center and right. Until traded, he'll have opportunities to come off the bench or to start games on off days for Edman and Walker.