Alec Burleson could be traded before Opening Day.
Alec Burleson has worked hard to remake himself this offseason. Via workouts and defensive adjustments, Burly hopes to be more prepared defensively in 2024. His bat and underlying metrics back up his placement on the roster, but his lack of defensive prowess historically weakens his case to see a large bulk of innings next year.
St. Louis could capitalize on his relatively stable trade value this offseason. Burly won't get many at-bats next year, and he could fall victim to the same treatment players such as Juan Yepez and Moises Gomez fell victim to. Both of those players were good offensively, but they toiled in AAA or rode the bench in St. Louis, thus lowering their value overall.
If the Cardinals don't trade Alec Burleson soon, his trade value could plummet, and the team would be forced to either trade him for spare parts or non-tender him a contract, similar to what they did with Juan Yepez this offseason.
By himself, Alec Burleson won't bring much back in return, possibly a mid-inning reliever or a prospect in the team's 20-30 range, depending on the organization. However, should he be packaged with another prospect in St. Louis, Burleson could net a decent starting pitcher or top-10 prospect from another organization that is major-league ready.
It's possible Burly becomes another "one that got away" for St. Louis, but his defensive shortcomings paired with his uninspiring introduction to the highest level of baseball assuage some of those concerns.