If Masyn Winn looks great, what does that mean for the future of Tommy Edman?
Part of the reason the Cardinals can afford to be patient with Winn is the presence of Tommy Edman on their roster. If they do not feel comfortable going to Winn next season, Edman is more than capable of being the club's shortstop for as long as they need him to be in 2024.
But what if Winn proves he is ready to run with the role? How does that change Edman's role with the Cardinals?
Nolan Gorman is the club's second baseman. He's become a league-average defender at the position this year and his offensive upside is too great for Edman to surpass. Gorman will DH some, but with the Cardinals looking to rotate so many names there, he'll play second most of the time. Edman could factor into the club's outfield next year, but if I had to bet, the Cardinals will likely roll with one of Brendan Donovan, Alec Burleson, Dylan Carlson, or Tyler O'Neill as their left fielder with Lars Nootbaar in center field and Jordan Walker in right field next season.
At the very least, the emergence of Winn makes Edman the club's true super-utility man in 2024 in my opinion. Edman can fill in for St. Louis at shortstop, second base, and the outfield whenever they need him to. Without a clear backup shortstop option on the roster, a little bit of insurance for Winn would go a long way.
But I also think this means the club could strongly consider moving Edman this offseason if they can get pitching in return. Edman is entering his second year of arbitration next year and will be a free agent following the 2025 season. With his contract number set to rise again this year and being just two years away from free agency, Edman's value may be as high as it will ever be on the trade market this offseason.
The Cardinals really value what Edman brings to the team, and rightfully so. I do not think they will consider dealing him unless it brings in the kind of pitching that they cannot afford to pass up. In all likelihood, they'll look to use Carlson and/or O'Neill to acquire some of that pitching this offseason, but if they want better arms, Edman is a guy they could put on the table.
If Winn struggles during this debut season, I doubt they consider moving on from Edman. But if he takes St. Louis by storm, keep an eye on Edman's name in trade rumors.