Much like the San Diego Padres, the St. Louis Cardinals entered the 2023 season with enormous expectations, only to have sputtered out of the gate in unforeseen fashion.
In theory, the Cardinals have time to turn around their season, and have the benefit of playing in a weak division, which the Padres don't. But San Diego has gone too 'all-in' this season to punt 2023 away.
If St. Louis is unable to right the ship this summer, here are three players that could help the Padres via trade.
3 potential Cardinals trade chips that could interest the San Diego Padres this summer
1. Tyler O'Neill
O'Neill was infamously in the doghouse with Cardinals' skipper Oli Marmol earlier this season amidst the team's early struggles. The veteran outfielder has had a poor season, to say the least, with just two home runs, a .620 OPS and a 72 OPS+ in 92 at-bats to date.
The veteran outfielder is currently on the shelf with back problems, which is also not a positive development. But the Cardinals are open to moving him, and he has talent. That would make him a great fit for the Padres, who could use an outfield upgrade just like O'Neill could benefit from a change of scenery.
O'Neill hit 34 home runs in a season as recently as 2021, so it's not as if he's never had success before. Playing in a stacked San Diego lineup could take pressure off him as well. And perhaps most importantly, A.J. Preller would be able to buy low on O'Neill given his struggles.