Kevin Kiermaier is known for his defensive prowess in center. In his 10-year career, he has accumulated 92 Outs Above Average (OAA) with 12 OAA just this past year in Toronto. Kiermaier has also shown the ability to hit well, particularly against right-handed pitchers. His career OPS+ against righties is 105 with a slugging percentage in the low-.400s. Kiermaier would immediately slot into the center field position for the Cardinals in 2024. The 33-year-old isn't a stout offensive player, but the Cardinals can live with an OPS in the mid-.700s if his defense stands the test of time.
Should the Cardinals sign Kiermaier, that would give them more flexibility across the field. Any one of Tommy Edman, Nolan Gorman, or Brendan Donovan could become huge trade pieces for a starting pitcher. His signing would also allow the Cardinals to trade one of Tyler O'Neill or Dylan Carlson, assuming they are on the trade block. Additionally, Lars Nootbaar and Jordan Walker can be the primary players in the corner spots in the outfield.
Given Kiermaier's defensive abilities, Jordan Walker can worry less about covering ground to his right. Kevin Kiermaier excels at going either to his right or left, thus allowing Walker to shade more towards the corner where he can flex his arm strength. Signing a center fielder with a defensive track record such as Kiermaier's would provide an immediate boost to the Cardinals' outfield. Lars Nootbaar, a budding star, can focus on left field, a position that he has played well his entire career. Kevin's signing would also allow the front office to trade some otherwise valuable players to fulfill pitching needs.