The Cardinals latest roster move shows they have questions about another roster spot

The Cardinals claimed a center fielder on waivers this past week, indicating they still have questions about who will fill that role in 2024

Sep 22, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani (67) walks off the
Sep 22, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Michael Siani (67) walks off the / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, even the smallest of moves can speak volumes about a Major League Baseball team. The St. Louis Cardinals claimed center fielder Michael Siani off of waivers this week, and while the first reaction of many was "Why do the Cardinals need another outfielder?", my mind went to a different place - do the Cardinals lack confidence in their center field options for 2024?

John Mozeliak sure seemed to indicate that when talking to Tom Ackerman on his radio show via KMOX on Sunday.

When asked about this roster move, Mozeliak stated that they were interested in Siani's abilities as a defender in center fielder along with his plus-plus speed, and that they wanted to see if his bat would progress to the point that he could be a regular player at the Major League level.

Sounds like they hope he's a little bit more than just outfield depth to me.

My point here is not that Siani will be there starting center fielder next year. Maybe he will be. But the biggest story to me here is it appears that the Cardinals are still very open to finding an option outside of their organization to play center field in 2024.

Siani has played in just 12 big league games for the Reds between 2022 and 2023, and hasn't shown anything at the plate yet. In Triple-A this year, he has slashed .228/.344/.355 in 108 games played. Again, his true value is as a defender and on the base paths, but those are two areas the Cardinals have struggled in this year.


Lars Nootbaar, Tyler O'Neill, Dylan Carlson, and even Tommy Edman have all seen time out in center field this year for the Cardinals, and yet, they have not felt comfortable landing on any of them as their long-term guy. They seen to few the first three as corner outfielders, and likely view Edman as more of a utility player than every day option out there.

This doesn't mean they won't consider one of those guys starting out as their center fielder in 2024, but I do think they'll be open to finding a center fielder this offseason if one becomes a clear fit. Maybe a reunion with Harrison Bader on a cheap deal would do the trick. Perhaps a veteran like Kevin Kiermaier. Maybe it is Siani, or another guy they identify this offseason.