The St. Louis Cardinals are fighting back into contention, but that won’t keep these players on the roster through the trade deadline for various reasons.
Don’t look now, but the St. Louis Cardinals are starting to look like the baseball team we thought they’d be coming into the 2023 season.
After the Redbirds got off to a historically bad start to the year, they’ve now won seven of their last 10 games and are now just six games under .500 and 5.5 games back of the Brewers atop the NL Central. That might not seem great, but it’s miles better than where they were earlier in the season. And all of this makes the trade deadline in a couple of months all the more fascinating.
If the Cardinals’ awful start had remained the trend for this team throughout the year, the belief was that they could be sellers. But now if this bounce-back effort keeps up, they could turn the narratives and be buyers. No matter which side of the coin they end up on, though, there are some players on the roster who won’t be in St. Louis past the trade deadline.
STL Cardinals rumors: 3 players who won’t survive the trade deadline and why
Tyler O’Neill looks like the odd man out of the STL Cardinals outfield
This one’s been pretty obvious for a few months now, but it’s starting to feel like it would be more shocking if Tyler O’Neill is still a member of the Cards past the trade deadline than if he’s on another team.
We all know by know that the 27-year-old outfielder was benched early in the season due to a lack of hustle. He’s now been put on the IL for a few weeks now but wasn’t performing as St. Louis had certainly hoped prior to that, slashing just .228/.283/.337 in 29 games this season with only two home runs to his credit as well.
Even the Cards know that, once healthy, O’Neill is capable of much more than that, largely because he’s shown that in previous seasons, most notably in 2021 when he looked to be one of baseball’s budding stars with a .912 OPS and 6.3 WAR over 141 games. So there should be a trade market for him.
Given that St. Louis desperately needs to find solutions for their rotation if they plan on continuing to surge up the standings and back into contention, dealing one of their outfielders seems like a formality as the club is loaded at the position with O’Neill, Dylan Carlson, Lars Nootbar, Juan Yepez, Alec Burleson and top prospect Jordan Walker. So if they look to upgrade pitching, it seems like one of those guys is going to be dealt to do so.
O’Neill is the most likely candidate in my eyes. His flashes at the major-league level could be enough to entice some teams, particularly if packaged with another player and/or prospect, to move on from a quality starter at the trade deadline and, on top of that, his early-season woes likely didn’t curry him any favor with Oli Marmol and the front office. As such, the safe bet remains that he’ll indeed be traded at some point this year.