Nothing like a little clubhouse drama to start the season. With the current situation between manager Oli Marmol and outfielder Tyler O'Neill, rumors begin to swirl.
As everyone knows by now, Marmol benched Tyler O'Neill in the series finale with the Braves on Wednesday over a base-running incident late in Tuesday's game. The two were in disagreement on how much hustle O'Neill gave when he was sent home by 3rd base coach Pop Warner in the 7th inning of a 4-1 game.
There have been conflicting opinions on if Marmol handled the situation properly and if O'Neill should've been sent home at all, but no matter who's right and who's wrong, this could be a growing problem the Cardinals need to address.
Longtime sports writer Ken Rosenthal was with Levi Weaver of The Athletic talking about news around the league, and they discussed the Tyler O'Neill and Oli Marmol situation (paid subscription required) and how they could've traded him this past off-season to improve the starting rotation. It was obvious even before this horrible start to the season for Cardinal pitchers that they need pitching and pitching under club control past this season.
Another thing mentioned was the outfield depth the Cardinals have, including the strong starts to the season by Alec Burleson and Jordan Walker, you can see why the Cardinals considered it.
Rosenthal includes that the Cardinals were in talks with the Marlins and other clubs about trading O'Neill. On paper, it seems that trade with Miami could fill needs for both teams. The Marlins are in desperate need of hitting as much as the Cardinals are for pitching, O'Neill could fill that need perfectly for Miami when healthy. And Miami has some great arms. Of course, they can thank the Cardinals for their superstar ace Sandy Alcantara in what will go down as one of the worst trades in Cardinal history, but they have other great young arms like Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers, Edward Cabrera, and Braxton Garrett.
All four of those guys are 25 or younger, and currently, in the Marlins rotation, would they be willing to spare one of those arms to get some much-needed thump in their lineup? We might have to wait for the season to play out more to see if they will be available or not.
At the trade deadline last year, Marlins general manager Kim Ng said that they were " listening to everyone ". They're a team that seems to be looking to improve but are in a tough division and are not expected to compete with the Braves, Mets, and Phillies, it's definitely intriguing to think about if you're a Cardinal fan. One week into the season the Marlins have the fewest runs in the MLB and have been a bottom 3 offense in the league since 2018. And we all know the Cardinals' current pitching problems, we expect they will have to make a big move to solve it.
I am not rushing anything, but I could see Miami and St.Louis working together to help each other fill a current downside to their respective clubs and see the Cardinals turn an unfortunate situation into something productive.