3) LA Angels trade target on the Cardinals: Jack Flaherty
Back in 2019, Jack Flaherty broke out and looked like a future star for the Cardinals. In his 33 starts that season, the right-hander posted a 2.75 ERA and led the league in WHIP. He finished fourth in the NL Cy Young balloting and 13th in the NL MVP race. He was looking like the future ace of that staff.
In the next three seasons following his outstanding 2019 campaign, Flaherty made just 35 appearances (32 starts) for St. Louis because of a bevy of injuries. He was still a decent pitcher as he had a 3.90 ERA in those appearances, but looked nothing like the pitcher he once looked like he'd be.
After making just nine appearances for St. Louis last season, Flaherty was finally healthy entering this season. His season couldn't have gotten off to a weirder start than it did. In five innings against the Blue Jays, he did not allow a single hit but he walked seven batters. One of the oddest things I've ever seen.
Command has been a problem for Flaherty, as has consistency. He's had some good starts, and he's had some awful ones, like the one we saw him make against the Angels. Flaherty allowed ten runs while recording just seven outs. This caused his ERA to jump all the way up to 6.29. The crazy thing is, a 6.29 ERA is still over three runs better than Jose Suarez!
The Angels desperately need help at the back of their rotation, and the SoCal kid could provide that. He's not an ace, but I do like his upside. Most of the time he'll give you five or six innings and keep you in a ballgame. The Halos simply haven't gotten that consistently out of most of their rotation this season.
He's on an expiring deal so if it doesn't work out, they can let him go. If he does pitch well, maybe they found something. A change of scenery back home could help him. He's not as good as Montgomery, but he can help.