The St. Louis Cardinals continue to add, but in ways we didn’t expect. They are signing outfielder Corey Dickerson, per report.
On the surface, this is an interesting contract. Dickerson, 32, is now the Cardinals’ fourth outfielder and gives them a capable left-handed bat off the bench. He also gives them very good insurance in case an outfielder misses time with injury, as Harrison Bader spent two separate stints on the Injured List last season. Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson have also missed time with injuries over the course of their careers.
Dickerson spent the last two seasons with the Miami Marlins on a two-year, $17 million contract. In two seasons, he hit .266/.321/.406 with 13 home runs. He is not the same type of hitter he once was – he hit 27 homers in 2017 – but he improves their depth and also is another veteran designated hitter option, something the Cardinals lacked as they have youngsters Lars Nootbaar, Nolan Gorman and Juan Yepez for the position.
His presence could also help keep O’Neill, Bader and Carlson fresh. Dickerson has primarily played left field, and manager Oli Marmol can utilize platoons when facing a right-handed pitcher, which is when Dickerson is at his best.
It remains to be seen what the Cardinals do next, as the bullpen still has a glaring hole in the late innings. They could use another starting pitcher and old friend J.A. Happ remains unsigned. But the options have dwindled drastically in both markets and have left largely uninspiring options available in free agency.
For now, the Cardinals continue to add talent and depth to the roster. It may not be in ways that we expected, however, which makes me – and many others – believe that there is more to come.