6 surprising St. Louis Cardinals who could return next season

The 2024 edition of the St. Louis Cardinals could have some unexpected returns. Here are the names who could be back.
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Tyler O'Neill could be a surprise return for the Cardinals

O'Neill had a rough start to his season with accusations of lacking hustle and a return of lingering health issues. After a couple of months off, though, O'Neill seems to have returned to a point where he can contribute. While it's not exactly what they want, he is performing better while keeping an eye on his health and doing what he can for his team.

This season he is hitting .242/.323./.423 with an OPS of .746. He has 14 doubles, nine home runs, 27 runs scored, 21 RBI and five stolen bases. He has been a nice defensive presence in left field again, providing his typical Gold Glove-caliber efforts. With two Gold Glove awards in his trophy case, the Cardinals would love to see him return to that form.

They'd also like to see the return of his 2021 offensive output which saw him knock 34 home runs on the season. It's obvious he would like to get back to that as well. While frustrating for now, if O'Neill can display his current track of maintaining his health, and being honest when he can and can't go, the Cardinals could hold on to O'Neill and take one more gamble on him returning to form.

The 2024 season will be his final arbitration-eligible season, making him a free agent in 2025. The Cardinals could keep O'Neill around and if he's not performing to the team's expectations, it could be used as trade bait at the deadline next season. It is likely the Cardinals will give him the opportunity he needs before trading him this offseason.