Bleacher Report just presented an awful Tyler O'Neill trade
The St. Louis Cardinals continue to have an abundance of outfield talent on their roster and a clear need in their rotation, leading many to link them to a trade before Spring Training.
One of the names that has been linked in trade talks is Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill finished top 10 in MVP voting in 2021 and looked to be establishing himself as a major bat in the Cardinals lineup. He was then limited to just 96 games in 2022 a .700 OPS, and over .200 point drop from his breakout season.
With a plethora of outfield options, it makes sense that St. Louis would listen on their different names, including O’Neill, but this recent trade idea with the Yankees would be selling criminally low on the 27-year-old.
In a recent story on Bleacher Report, Zachary D. Rymer proposed that the Cardinals deal O’Neill to the Yankees in return for one or two of Domingo German, Clarke Schmidt, or Deivi Garcia. Here was his argument.
"Those might not necessarily include Tyler O'Neill, but there's no harm in the Yankees at least asking the St. Louis Cardinals about him. O'Neill was a Gold Glove winner in 2020 and 2021 and a 34-homer slugger in the latter campaign, but his value is down following a year in which injuries limited him to 96 mostly forgettable games. As such, the Cards would indeed be selling low on him if they were to trade him. The benefits of doing so would nonetheless be twofold. For one, they'd save about $5 million. And for two, they'd create an opening for one of their up-and-coming outfielders: Alec Burleson in the short run, and top prospect Jordan Walker in the not-too-long run. If the Cardinals were to deal O'Neill to the Yankees, the trade could resemble the one that sent Bader to New York last summer. Going to St. Louis could be one or more immediately useful pitchers, such as Domingo Germán, Clarke Schmidt and/or Deivi García."- Zachary D. Rymer
Rymer does acknowledge that the Cardinals would be selling low here, but even proposing a trade this low seems insane. I am not sure why the Cardinals would trade away a player with as much talent, and proven production, as O'Neill for these arms.
German is a fine back-of-the-rotation starter, but not the kind of talent you expect back for a guy with a ceiling like O'Neill. Garcia is a former top prospect for the Yankees who have now fallen considerably among talent evaluators, going from the club's #3 prospect in 2021 to #24 going into 2023.
Clarke Schmidt is an intriguing name though. He was the club's #2 prospect in 2021 and saw significant time in the Yankees bullpen this past season, finding a good level of success with a 3.12 ERA in 57.2 innings. Still, though, I don't think he provides enough value for the Cardinals to give up on O'Neill.
If the Cardinals are to trade O'Neill, I do not think they should do so unless they are blown away with an offer today, or he has at least rebuilt some of his value this next season. Could you imagine if he was traded now for those kinds of pitchers, and then goes off and becomes an All-Star caliber player again?
O'Neill is one of my bounce-back candidates for 2023, and our own Jared Wolfe made the case for him to rebound in a big way this next season. With a new training program this off-season and time to reset, I do believe O'Neill looks more like his 2021 self than he did this last season.