3 former Cardinals we'll miss this season and 2 we'll bid good riddance to

Several players have left the St. Louis Cardinals via the trade deadline or offseason moves. Some of them will be sorely missed, but others' departures won't faze many fans.

San Diego Padres v St Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres v St Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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We'll miss you!: Richie Palacios

Most fans' hopes of making the postseason had completely evaporated by June 16, when the Cardinals were 27-42. That day, the Cardinals made a seemingly unremarkable move, acquiring outfielder Richie Palacios from the Cleveland Guardians for cash considerations. The Cardinals promoted Palacios to the major leagues two months later, and he was immediately productive, wrestling his way into a starting outfield spot by the end of the season.

Palacios hit .258 with an .823 OPS in 2023, but the Cardinals have a glut of outfielders to begin 2024, so they deemed Palacios expendable and sent him to the Tampa Bay Rays for relief pitcher Andrew Kittredge in January. The move made sense, and Kittredge could be valuable to the Cardinals; nevertheless, Palacios has some exciting attributes that the Rays might be able to further hone.

Palacios pulled 45.2% of his batted balls last season, a high percentage of which were fly balls, making for a strong combination. He also showed excellent plate discipline and contact ability, achieving a 90.3% contact rate on pitches in the zone, which is about 7% above league average.

Where Palacios could still improve is in his exit velocity, and if the Rays can unlock that piece of his tool set, the 26-year-old Palacios could perform at a high level for several years. It's still a success for the Cardinals to have acquired Palacios for virtually nothing and later flipped him for a proven commodity, but if he takes another step forward, Cardinals fans will certainly bemoan his loss, especially since he'll likely be around longer than the 33-year-old Kittredge.