Cardinals rumors: End of road for Tyler O'Neill, Aaron Nola interest, Rangers robbery

  • Richie Palacios was a trade deadline steal
  • Cardinals going after Aaron Nola this offseason
  • Tyler O'Neill's time with St. Louis looks like it has met its end
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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Richie Palacios one of the few bright spots of Cardinals season, a clear steal

The St. Louis Cardinals expect to compete, year-in and year-out. Unfortunately, they had to face a tough reality leading up to the trade deadline this season: Competing was not in the hand of cards this year.

Several factors played into that reality. One was the fact that the leftover element of the previous era, Adam Wainwright, wasn't quite cutting it. Another was that additions from the offseason didn't pan out as expected and/or took longer to get in sync than expected, mainly, Willson Contreras subbing in for longtime catcher Yadier Molina caused growing pains for the battery on a near-nightly basis to start the year.

A transition from the era of yesteryear to whatever is next was tougher than advertised.

It's been a tough year for St. Louis, but their ability to face the reality before the trade deadline rather than after allowed them to make upgrades to the roster for the future while liquidating expiring pieces. One such trade that sent out Jordan Montgomery to the Rangers brought back Richie Palacios, who has already proven to be an excellent add.

Compared to other teams in similar situations, the Cardinals did alright. Look at the Los Angeles Angels, who sold the farm in order to push their chips to the center, only to regret it a week later. There's something noble about doing whatever you can to compete, but it's also important to be wise. The Cardinals were prescient, it would appear, by nabbing a solid young player in Palacios.

Palacios has played in just 18 games with the Cardinals, but is slashing .298/.327/.596. He's bagged 28 bases this season, just four fewer than he did with the Guardians last year in 54 games.

The plate discipline is remarkable, too, with him striking out just six times in 50 plate appearances, a really great rate for such a young player. Paul Goldschmidt's first 18 games with the Cardinals featured 26 strikeouts, for comparison's sake.

Hopefully, moves like this ensure the Cardinals bad 2023 is a one-year retool, not a multi-year rebuild.