Evaluating 4 ways the Cardinals can handle their outfield situation in 2024

Depending on how the Cardinals mix and match their outfielders, it will have a direct impact on the quality of their offense and defense in 2024
Jul 15, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Alec Burleson (41) and
Jul 15, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Alec Burleson (41) and / Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports
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Tommy Edman in center field, Lars Nootbaar and Jordan Walker in the corners

Let's start with one that would have been shocking to all of us back in April - the Cardinals could roll with Edman as their center fielder next year.

Edman has had himself an up-and-down 2023 season. Offensively, there have been times when Edman doesn't even look like an everyday player, and other times when he's the club's clutch bat. The organization loves Edman and all that he brings to the table, but his future with the club is less certain now than it has been in recent years.

I could really see them leaning toward Edman being their super utility player in 2024 or a valuable trade chip this offseason, but his defense in center may help him win a new everyday role.

Suppose Edman is relied on as the primary center fielder. In that case, St. Louis will need to bring in a safety net at shortstop outside of Masyn Winn, or be willing to rotate Nootbaar or others into center field when Edman spells Winn.