Well, this one hurts a lot personally. For me, Tyler O’Neill is turning into the guy that I’ll look back on for years and wonder how on earth he fell so far from his peak. I just don’t understand how a guy can be a top-10 MVP candidate, hitting like one of the best players in baseball, providing elite speed on the basepaths, and Gold Glove defense in left field. His expected numbers say he should be so much better, and yet, here we are with O’Neill.
I guarantee you there are teams out there who look at O’Neill and would love to get him in their lineup. Unless O’Neill turns it around soon, his value has depleted a lot. Whatever the Cardinals would get for O’Neill now would likely be underwhelming at best, and he may end up turning it on with another club and making Cardinals’ fans frustrated with another outfielder who got away.
I think O’Neill may be the one player that could be dealt with sooner rather than later, even if the Cardinals don’t operate like sellers for a while. There is just such a logjam in the outfield right now, that letting O’Neill go and moving on may be best for both parties. I say recently I think the Cardinals need to give O’Neill a few weeks to consistently be in the lineup and prove whether or not he belongs, and I still believe that.
Great defense, elite power potential, good speed, and another year of team control is attractive to any team, so there will be plenty of suitors for O’Neill among contenders come July.