4 free agent outfielders the Cardinals may target this offseason

Even though their big bats were injured often in 2023, the Cardinals could still stand to improve the offense this offseason.
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The St. Louis Cardinals' pitching woes have been well-documented all year. The team ranked 24th in ERA, 26th in ERA+, 22nd in FIP, and placed 29th in total strikeouts. The Front Office has already stated that they will add multiple starting pitchers this offseason. Reinforcements on the mound are necessary, and they will absolutely happen.

However, the team's offensive struggles shouldn't be forgotten. The Cardinals ranked dead middle with a .250 average with runners in scoring position and 17th in runs batted in with runners in scoring position. The team ranked 13th overall in wRC+ across the majors as well. These statistics place the Cardinals in the middle of the pack offensively. With a poor pitching staff and an average offense, it is no secret as to why the Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

There are a few positions in particular that the Cardinals could target to improve. These improvements could come with direct replacements. For example, the Cardinals could target a left fielder to fill in that hole directly, or they could sign a true center fielder, thus pushing Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, or Jordan Walker to a corner spot full-time.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch discussed the Cardinals' "logjam" in the outfield recently on one of his chats. He stated that he doesn't see the logjam that fans see, and he posited that production would clear that logjam for the team. While there may not be much of a logjam, that doesn't mean there isn't a need for improvement.

"Maybe I'm off on this, and we'll see. I don't spot the logjam that keeps coming up. And if there is one, fine, good, whatever, let the production decide. The logjam is alleviated some by the DH. The logjam is alleviated a lot by the production."

Derrick Goold

The Cardinals' left fielders ranked 21st in all of baseball with a -1.0 bWAR. The bulk of left field innings went to Tyler O'Neill; Alec Burleson played the second most in left, followed by Brendan Donovan, and then Lars Nootbaar, Jordan Walker, and Dylan Carlson filled in the remaining innings. Therefore, whatever left fielder is signed must be better than O'Neill and Burleson primarily. Should the team sign a center fielder, then the Cardinals would be pretty comfortable playing a combination of O'Neill/Nootbaar/Carlson/Burleson in left, depending on who is traded away.

Here are 4 free-agent outfielders the Cardinals could sign this offseason to boost their offensive profile.