6. Signing Kyle Gibson
The Kyle Gibson signing is eerily similar to Lance Lynn's signing. They differ in a few ways for me. First, Kyle Gibson was slightly better in regard to quality starts. Brandon Kiley of BK and Ferrario explained as much in a post after Gibson's signing.
Gibson's breaking balls last year ranked in the 94th percentile in all of baseball in effectiveness. He doesn't walk batters (6.8% BB rate), and he is excellent at generating groundballs, a skill that the team lost when they didn't retain Dakota Hudson. I have more faith in Kyle Gibson to not perform poorly than I do in Lance Lynn. Therefore, I find his signing more impactful.
5. Tyler O'Neill Trade
It was somewhat bittersweet to see Tyler O'Neill be traded. It was inevitable, but it was still bittersweet. O'Neill gave us plenty to cheer about in 2021; he had finally lived up to his potential that year, and it seemed like the Cardinals had a new big three of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Tyler O'Neill. Things didn't stay the same for the muscular righty, however, and injuries continued to hamper his on-field performance.
O'Neill's clubhouse presence also came into question on a few occasions. John Mozeliak found it fitting to trade the outfielder for whatever value he may have had left. In exchange, the Cardinals got Nick Robertson and Victor Santos. Robertson, a reliever who will turn twenty-six in July, features a powerful slider and a decent fastball. Santos is more of a depth-starting pitcher who will likely start the season in AAA Memphis.
Trading O'Neill cleared up an outfield logjam, freshened up the clubhouse, and it brought back two pitchers with potential and plenty of team control. I wish O'Neill plenty of success in Boston, and it was disappointing to see him go, but it was time.