The St. Louis Cardinals have a lot of work to do this offseason. Player acquisitions will surely occur through free agency. Trades are inevitable as well in order to fill in missing pieces in the rotation and bullpen.
A player's value is mostly determined by his performance at the plate and in the field. Team control is another big factor. Therefore, younger players who are still in arbitration carry more trade value. They are cheap, the team is able to work with them for a longer time, and they are younger, which typically means fewer health concerns.
Before the Trade Deadline, I ranked some of the Cardinals' most valuable trade pieces. Some of those players were dealt, but many still remain with the team. Before the offseason, it is important to evaluate the players who could be traded this offseason.
7. Tyler O'Neill
In my piece from July, I also stated that Tyler O'Neill was the player with the least value on the open market. His injury history, potential clubhouse issues, and underperformance in recent years have sapped a potential player return.
Tyler has been unable to return to his once-MVP form from 2021. He finished 2023 with a .231/.312/.403 slash line and an OPS+ of 93. O'Neill's best month last year was July where he hit .324/.441/.880 and had a BABIP of .423 in 41 plate appearances. He then settled back down from August on.
O'Neill is still a strong defender in the corner outfield, but his ability to mash the way he did in years past seems to have faded. His strikeout percentage (26.9% in 2022 and 25.2% in 2023) has gone down recently, and his walk percentage has increased lately; however, he has lost a significant amount of power, as his average exit velocity has dropped from 93 mph in 2021 to just 89.2 mph in 2023.
It is possible O'Neill recoups some trade value in the first half of the season, but his current value isn't very high on the trade market.