2. Sign a veteran fourth outfielder
The Cardinals’ starting outfield is set: Tyler O’Neill in left, Harrison Bader in center and Dylan Carlson in right. But, tear me to shreds if you must, I still have my doubts about Lars Nootbaar’s ability to stick in the major leagues. He was never a great hitter in the minors save for 2019 in Triple-A, and it’s possible that he figured something out there, but I can’t help but compare him to Lane Thomas in their similar skill sets, although Nootbaar has less power.
I’d like the Cardinals to go after a proven commodity in the outfield in case Nootbaar doesn’t work out or the Cardinals need extra depth. Someone I could see serving in that role is Delino DeShields. The Cincinnati Reds outrighted DeShields to Triple-A on Oct. 7, so he’s probably not in their long-term plans. He can steal bases and play strong defense, and he doesn’t embarrass himself with the bat. The Cardinals should take a flier on him.
Joc Pederson is a player who some fans thought was a natural fit for the Cardinals during last year’s offseason. A player with pop but who is woeful against left-handed pitchers, Pederson would best fit in a platoon role, but the three outfielders for the Cardinals are suited to everyday playing time, so Pederson’s potential fit with the team seems to have passed.
Another outfielder would go a long way making me comfortable with the Cardinals’ depth. They’ve tried Justin Williams and Austin Dean in those roles, and they haven’t been successful. It’s time for someone to come in who the team knows can produce.