Predicting the St. Louis Cardinals 2024 Opening Day Roster

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (11) celebrates with designated hitter Nolan Gorman (16)
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (11) celebrates with designated hitter Nolan Gorman (16) / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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(6) - Jordan Walker, Dylan Carlson, Lars Nootbaar, Alec Burleson, Mike Antico, Chandler Redmon

I think the Cardinals have shown us quite a bit this season about who they believe is in their long-term plans, and as of late, the future of this outfield is uncertain outside of Jordan Walker and Lars Nootbaar.

Walker and Nootbaar are true long-term pieces for the club, with Walker having superstar potential and Nootbaar showing he could be an All-Star type player as well. Walker likely locks down right field, and Nootbaar would play center field or left field depending on who they choose as their third outfielder.

The only reason I think Alec Burleson could be missing from this list would be if he was included in a trade package. Otherwise, I think the Cardinals really like what they have seen in Burleson's bat. After starting the season off well, Burleson cooled off a bit, but over his last 15 games, Burleson is slashing .263/.326/.395 and has done that in spotty playing time.

I don't think the Cardinals will get rid of Dylan Carlson. He has too high of a ceiling still as a player who can play very good defense at all three spots, mash lefties, and surely at some point, he'll get at least playable against right-handers. Worst case, he's a good fourth outfielder. I just don't think he carries enough trade value to cut bait with.

You'll notice that Tyler O'Neill and Juan Yepez are gone from this list. I think it's clear that the O'Neill era in St. Louis is coming to an end soon, even if you disagree with why. There's just too much friction between O'Neill and the Cardinals' leadership, and I bet he is traded by the deadline. I really like Yepez, and think he can be a productive bat if given consistent playing time, but the Cardinals continue to underutilize him, so I think he ends up being traded at some point, probably as a piece in a large deal for an ace.

If you don't recognize the names, Mike Antico and Chandler Redmond, they feel like very interesting backup options for the Cardinals next season. Both are currently in Double-A Springfield, but should really be in Memphis at this point. Chandler can play in the outfield, second base, and first base while slashing .250/.352/.603 with 16 HR and 42 RBI in just 43 games. He represents a bat who with power off the bench while also being a versitaile option for the Cardinals. Antico is slashing .262/.344/.476 with 7 HR, 30 RBI, and 13 SB while providing the Cardinals with another center field option.

Other potential options: Moises Gomez, Juan Yepez, Victor Scott II, Matt Koperniak