5 trade destinations if the St. Louis Cardinals decide to trade Tyler O'Neill

Apr 8, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tyler O'Neill (27) walks
Apr 8, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tyler O'Neill (27) walks / Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
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These five teams would be interesting trade partners in a Tyler O'Neill trade

Let me start by saying two things. First, I don't want the St. Louis Cardinals to trade Tyler O'Neill. Second, before ripping me for even suggesting a move, check out the comment section on my "5 teams that should trade for Harrison Bader" story, which came out almost three weeks before the surprise deadline deal with the Yankees.

I am not suggesting the Cardinals will trade O'Neill, nor am I saying that should. I don't believe the recent baserunning controversy will lead to O'Neill being dealt, and frankly, his performance this season warrants a spot in the starting outfield.

And yet, even as a big fan of O'Neill's, I can see the breadcrumbs being laid for a potential move in the coming months.

After an injury-plagued 2022 season, rumors of O'Neill being in trade talks this offseason circulated all the way up to Spring Training. It's important to remember that many players were talked about in trade rumors, including the likes of Nolan Gorman, Dylan Carlson, and even closer Ryan Helsley, but O'Neill's name has resurfaced recently from the likes of Ken Rosenthal.

Outside of O'Neill's injuries and down 2022 season, his arbitration case with the Cardinals seemed to be a sticky situation that left O'Neill frustrated. The Canadian will be a free agent after the 2024 season, which could lead St. Louis to turn to their plethora of cost-controlled outfielders in Jordan Walker, Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Alec Burleson.

One last wrinkle before we get into possible trade partners. I've talked about this before, but with the lack of "rebuilding teams" who have front-line pitching to deal, the Cardinals may have to get creative in order to acquire the pitching help they need. Barring a team blowing up, they may need to swap impact bats for impact arms, something that O'Neill could help fit the bill on.

So, let's look at five teams the Cardinals may want to call if they end up deciding to move on from O'Neill this season.