Should the Miami Marlins pursue Tyler O'Neill?
By Neil Raymond
Miami Marlins injury news are optimistic, but they also make us think about the situation in CF. Jazz Chisholm Jr. moving from second base to CF was a controversial move, and he's still learning to play the position well. Luis Arraez moving to second base is questionable as well, as he might be better off at first base. Having Arraez at first base and Jazz back at second base, or Jazz at SS might improve the team's defense. This is where St. Louis Cardinals CF Tyler O'Neill suddenly comes into the equation...
Should the Miami Marlins try to acquire Tyler O'Neill?
There's trouble in St. Louis.... manager Oliver Marmol benched CF Tyler O'Neill for a game, due to a "lack of hustle". The problem was O'Neill getting caught at home plate trying to score. O'Neill was upset about Marmol talking about it in public to the media, and flat out said that it "shouldn't have been handled that way". He made it clear that internal issues should be be handled...internally. I have to agree with O'Neill here, Marmol should not have criticized him so publicly. This calls O'Neill's future with the team in question as St. Louis already has Jordan Walker, Dylan Carlson, Alec Burleson and Lars Nootbaar in the OF mix.
Tyler O'Neill is a decent CF defender, who batted .229/.291/.422 with 21 home runs and 58 RBI in 171 games and 410 AB in 2018-2020 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He finally broke out in 2021 with a .286/.352/.560 batting line with 34 home runs and 80 RBI in 138 games and 482 AB. He was worth 6.1 WAR. Things didn't go as well for him in 2022, when he batted .228/.308/.392 with 14 home runs and 58 RBI in 96 games and 334 AB. He's currently batting .278/.316/.444 with a home run and 2 RBI in 6 games and 18 AB.
Would the St. Louis Cardinals trade Tyler O'Neill to the Miami Marlins? O'Neill is a free agent after 2025 and is making $4.95 million. St. Louis badly needs starting pitching help and would certainly want a starting pitcher. I think that they would likely expect Edward Cabrera back (based on O'Neill's 2021), but the two teams don't really match up in team control (Cabrera is a free agent in 2029). Trevor Rogers matches up better (free agent in 2027), but he's coming off a down year. Both Rogers and Cabrera are still making under $1 million a year, so the salaries don't quite line up either.
How do the St. Louis Cardinals value Tyler O'Neill? Is he a middle of the order bat and a solid CF? Is he a strikeout heavy streaky hitter with average defense and injury issues? St. Louis will certainly not just give him away or sell low on him, and might not even be open to trading him at all. If they do trade him, they will surely want starting pitching in return. The problem is that I'm not sure who it could be. Cabrera has too much value and I'm not sure St. Louis will want Rogers, who I wouldn't trade either.