St. Louis Cardinals: 4 Under the Radar Outfield Free Agents to Consider
4. Matt Joyce – Can play LF or RF
Despite getting a center fielder being the priority, Matt Joyce could still fit into the plans to improve the team as a whole. With the departure of Matt Holliday and the likely loss of Brandon Moss, the St. Louis Cardinals may consider adding a bench bat that can play the corners. Joyce would fit the profile and he could come at quite the discount.
Joyce has had a bit of interesting career. He was an All-Star for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 and was wildly mediocre for a few of the following seasons. In 2015 however, he was absolutely dreadful and batted .174/.272/.291 in 93 games for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. After that, it was wondered if Joyce even could remain a big-leaguer.
In 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates decided to take a chance on Joyce and it paid off. He played in 140 games for the Buccos and slashed .242/.403/.463 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI. Joyce didn’t have the batting average like his former All-Star self but he showed an elite ability to grind out at-bats and find his way on base. He produced a 59-67 walk-to-strikeout ratio along with a walk percentage of 20.1.
And despite his batting average only being .242, the Cardinals would have reason to believe that it should be higher given that his batting average on balls in play was a .285. The difference in the numbers suggests that Joyce may have had some bad luck.
Again, Joyce isn’t the answer that John Mozeliak is looking for in the outfield but Matt Joyce could serve as a very useful tool off the bench. He has the ability to get on base at an elite level and would be a serviceable replacement if the Cardinals are not interested in bringing Brandon Moss back.
Next: Austin Gomber is in the Spotlight
The St. Louis Cardinals are looking for an outfielder. They may not get the belle of the ball but there are some other viable options available. The previously four mentioned guys could all provide the team with some kind of production while being much cheaper than Cespedes or Fowler. Cardinal Nation may not love the signing at first, but if one of these guys agrees to a deal, give them a chance, they all have something to prove.