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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Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. started his career off with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was traded this past offseason to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a deal that included Gabriel Moreno and Daulton Varsho. Gurriel was more of a secondary piece of the trade, as the Blue Jays needed a lefty bat who could play center, and the Diamondbacks needed a solid catcher to replace the fading Carson Kelly. However, Gurriel ended up providing some decent production for the playoff-bound Diamondbacks.

In his 6-year career, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has a career OPS+ of 118 and an OPS just shy of .800 at .791. Gurriel primarily plays left field but has also seen some time at first base, although those appearances have decreased over the years. Gurriel has also played up the middle in the infield, but he hasn't logged innings at shortstop or second base in quite a while. He would be the Cardinals' primary left fielder. Gurriel Jr. has also been a supreme hitter with runners in scoring position; his triple slash of .295/.341/.470 would immediately improve the Cardinals' woes in those situations from 2023.

Gurriel's defense is right about league average, as he tallied 1 OAA this year in left field. Should the Cardinals sign Gurriel, one of Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, Lars Nootbaar, or Tyler O'Neill would have to play center. The infield mix would have to include Masyn Winn at shortstop and a combination of Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman at second. The front office would have to trade from its depth at this point, probably one of the outfielders. Winn's bat didn't play so well in his debut in the majors throughout September, but he has shown a penchant to adjust quickly to a level and begin to hit.

Gurriel's signing, since he is primarily a corner outfielder, complicates the roster and truly would create a logjam. However, his bat would be significantly better than Dylan Carlson's or Tyler O'Neill's despite the latter's former MVP showing in 2021. Should the Cardinals sign Lourdes Gurriel Jr., the team's defense would take a hit, but their offense would surely improve.