Cardinals receive: RHP Tyler Glasnow
Rays receive: OF Tyler O'Neill and C Ivan Herrera
Back to Goold's thoughts on the return. MLB ready, upside risk, and at a much lower cost than Glasnow. Can I introduce you the the man, the myth, and the legend - Tyler O'Neill?
Actually, the most valuable player in this deal would likely be Ivan Herrera. With six years of club control and huge steps forward in his development this year, the Cardinals are sitting on a very valuable piece, whether that is for the future of their club or as a trade asset. With legitimate questions about how much Willson Contreras will be catching in the future, the Cardinals will not be quick to trade Herrera.
But again, if trading him helps them net a starter as talented as Glasnow, that is hard to pass up on.
Glasnow made 21 starts in 2023 and posted a 3.53 ERA in 120 innings with 162 SO. Talk about a starter with strikeout stuff. For as often as he has been injured, he's actually logged 45.2 innings in the postseason already as well, although he's had mixed results in October. Of course, the concern with Glasnow is whether or not he can be healthy for a full season.
For the Cardinals, the upside that Glasnow offers is the exact kind of pitcher they need to be willing to take a risk on. He has some of the best strikeout stuff in baseball, and when he's healthy, he is among the best in the game. Even if he only gives them 20-25 starts next year, would you rather have that and 8-12 starts of Zack Thompson when he's out? Or a lesser pitcher who gives you more innings? Give me Glasnow all day. Sure, you need other arms you can depend on innings from, but one guy like Glasnow in your rotation is worth the risk.
Back to Tyler O'Neill. He really does fit the bill of a high-upside play for the Rays - and not just because of the kind of bat he has when he is right. His value defensively alone can make him a valuable player for the Rays if he's on the field, and if his bat comes alive, he truly could have a resurgent season. At just $5.5 million next year and also acquiring six years of control on a promising catcher, this could be worth the risk for the Rays.
There is the whole question about whether or not he'd be willing to play on turf though, as he sat out multiple games against the Rays in Tampa due to concerns with that. If that is a no-go for O'Neill, then I doubt the Rays will have any interest in trading for him.
If this kind of deal was pulled off though, O'Neill's projected $5.5 million salary in his last year of arbitration and Herrera's league-minimum deal would mean the Cardinals' are only acquiring just under $19 million in net salary for 2024, once again creating room for them to pursue multiple high-level arms in free agency.