Known mostly for his glove, former Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is being linked to the St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals already have a plethora of outfield options on their roster, but many in the industry expect them to look at more outfield options this offseason. Former Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is the latest to be linked to St. Louis.
According to MLB columnist Bob Nightengale, the Cardinals may have interest in Kiermaier after the Rays declined his $13 million player option for the 2023 season. Kiermaier spent 10 seasons in Tampa Bay, winning three Gold Gloves with average offense for most of his time there. In 2022, Kiermaier was limited to just 63 games due to injury, and put up a .649 OPS in the process. He is still a very good defender, but is not the same highlight real machine he once was.
As a player profile, this is the kind of player that the Cardinals would target in the past, if there was a need. The problem here is that I do not believe there is one for Kiermaier.
While there may be some leftover interest from whatever past interest the Cardinals had, not only would the move be puzzling, but I’d argue a major misuse of resources. Kiermaier is a fine outfielder and will probably land on a contender, but the Cardinals do not have a role for him. Currently, they already have four better center field options on their own roster in Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, Jordan Walker, and Lars Nootbaar. Bringing in a guy like Kiermaier only complicates the mix.
Even if the Cardinals trade away some of their current outfield this offseason, they still have guys like Juan Yepez, Alec Burleson, Brendan Donovan, Moises Gomez, and more who could use playing time over a guy like Kiermaier.
Don’t expect the Cardinals to make this move, but to Nightengale’s point, it does kind of feel like a move up their alley. Let’s just hope they don’t entertain that.