Trade #2 - Tyler O'Neill and Joshua Baez for Pablo Lopez
O'Neill only mustered up a .700 OPS in 96 games in 2022 but is just a year removed from being a 50% above league average hitter with a .912 OPS while winning a Gold Glove and finishing 8th in MVP voting. O'Neill has talked this off-season about his arbitration case weight heavy on his mind last season and impacted his play, and he made it a priority this off-season to resolve it so he could focus on his play in 2023.
While I would love to see the Cardinals hold onto O'Neill and prove himself once again, if the Cardinals do think they need to move an outfielder to clear up some of the logjams, I could see why O'Neill is someone they would explore dealing for pitching. He is the closet to free agency out of their current outfielders, so there is an appeal in holding onto Nootbaar, Carlson, and Jordan Walker as the outfield of the future.
Still, I struggle to give up on O'Neill, especially while his value is so low, because of the big bat he could return to being in 2023, which is exactly why the Marlins would want him. O'Neill would be capable of playing center field for them, but would also bring a powerful bat to the middle of their order that could help transform their offense. There is risk involved with O'Neill though coming off a down, injury-prone year, which is why I think they would want a prospect like Joshua Baez as well.
Baez was a second-round pick for the Cardinals in 2021 and has a ton of raw power, that if tapped into, could project him to be a slugger in the vein of O'Neill. He still has a lot of developing to do, so he represents a long-term project for Miami to look into.