Cardinals: What is Tyler O’Neill’s future with St. Louis?

Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals Tyler O'Neill
Tyler O’Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on during a game. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /

Injuries and incontinency are beginning to add up for Tyler O’Neill

Availability and consistency may be two of the most valuable things a player can provide to their club. Teams want to be able to count on their guys to play when called upon and to know what to expect from them.

Unforuntaely, O’Neill has not been marked by either of these things as of late. O’Neill has played in just 65% of the teams games this season, and that number will drop even more with his new IL stint. Although injuries have always been something to monitor with O’Neill, it has never been as bad as this year.

For as “streaky” as fans and analysts have called O’Neill, last season, the outfielder was actually maintained an .800 OPS in all but one month of the season, and showed the ability to consistently make an impact at the plate for the Cardinals. Maybe it’s the constant IL stints, but O’Neill has not maintained any sense of consistent production in 2022. Maintaining a .228/.308/.392 slash line this season is far from the player that St. Louis needs O’Neill to be.

The Cardinals do maintain two more years of team control on O’Neill., but after 2024, the Scott Boras client will want to test free agency. Boras clients tend to maximize every dollar they can, and if O’Neill cannot be relied upon by St. Louis, they will not be interested in bringing him back.

With the emergence of Lars Nootbaar, the club’s faith in Dylan Carlson, and up and coming talent like Walker, Alec Burleson, and company, the club may be willing to part with O’Neill if the right offer comes their way. This seems like a rather drastic move, but many though the same about a Harrison Bader trade before the deadline.