4 former Cardinals who are putting on a show in Spring Training

These four players who left the St. Louis Cardinals during or after the 2023 season are starting the year off hot in hopes of schooling their former team.
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages
3 of 3

Richie Palacios

Richie Palacios wrestled his way into a starting outfield role in St. Louis late in the 2023 season, long after all hopes of a playoff appearance had faded. He more than held his own, hitting .258 with an OPS of .823. But the Cardinals, who deemed their outfield too crowded before Spring Training, sent Palacios to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Andrew Kittredge.

Palacios has stood out in Spring Training for the Rays, hitting .311 with three home runs in 45 at-bats. His average exit velocity of 92.7 mph also ranks near the top of the team. He looks to be in a good spot to make the Rays' active roster and run with a job in the outfield, and he has also been working out at second base.

The Cardinals could come to lament the Palacios move, but considering that they received Palacios from the Cleveland Guardians for nothing but cash, flipping him for an established reliever has to be considered a long-term win for the Cardinals. It likely still won't ease the sting on Cardinals fans if Palacios comes anywhere near Randy Arozarena-level success, though.

The Cardinals have made several trades over the past few years that they certainly wish they could have back, and more success from these players will only intensify the pain. Here's hoping that if these four standouts transfer their spring performance to the regular season, the players the Cardinals received in these deals can flourish as well.