It has been a long winding road for Jack Flaherty since his dominant 2019. Back then, he put up a season worth 4.7 fWAR and looked like the future Ace in St Louis. Since, it has been a struggle to stay healthy.
He is consistently making starts again in 2023, but he does not look like the same guy. Through 20 starts, he has a 4.43 ERA, 4.66 xERA, 4.23 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, and 4.72 SIERA. He is striking out 21.9% of batters, down from 29.9% in 2019. The walk rate sits at 11.1%.
Flaherty is basically the epitome of why the Cardinals are trending down. They have very little major league pitching. He was supposed to be their Ace, and now he looks like nothing more than a backend guy who they should get some value for before he walks this winter.
Which, probably will not be much.
A team, like the Braves, would be buying with the idea that he will at the very least eat innings over the last two months. Maybe they get lucky and can tap into the potential he once had. If that is the case, then that team would come out like bandits.
However, it is more likely that Flaherty would serve as a team's 4th/5th starter and move into the bullpen come the postseason.
The benefit is Flaherty would not cost much in terms of prospect capital. Which helps the Braves. The Cardinals would most likely be intersted in a young starter that they would have control over for six years. The Braves have a few options there, so they do match up well. He would not cost one of the better pitching prospects, but there are a few mid level pitchers the Braves might could use to get the deal done.
There is also the Max Fried factor that some fans would enjoy pointing out. Fried and Flaherty played on the same team in high school and Fried might enjoy having his old friend around.
It is not as sexy of an idea as it once would have been but it might make sense for the Braves to explore now. I personally do not see it happening but it would be fun to see if Rick Kranitz could get something out of Flaherty for a two-month stretch.