Tyler O’Neill

The St. Louis Cardinals announced they have acquired outfielder Tyler O’Neill from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales.

“This was more of a traditional trade in the sense that O’Neill was an outfielder with upside in the Mariners organization and Gonzales was a pitcher with upside in our organization,” said Cardinals Team President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak.  “If you look at the depth we have with the pitching in our system, it allowed us to make a move like this to improve.  We are excited for Tyler to join our organization.”

O’Neill, 22, was the Mariners third round pick (85th overall) in the 2013 draft out of Garibaldi Secondary School in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada.  He is currently rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Mariners organization according to MLB.com’s rankings. He was batting .244 with 19 home runs, 56 RBI, 21 doubles, two triples and nine stolen bases through 93 games for Tacoma (AAA) in the Pacific Coast League.  His 19 home runs ranked tied for 8th in the PCL.

Who gets the ax from the Cardinals outfield rotation in the future?  Is it Randal Grichuk?  He seems the most likely choice.  After giving Stephen Piscotty a contract extension, I can’t see them giving up on him already.  Fowler is the everyday center fielder, and I believe Sierra is learning and still a year or two away from being a well-rounded everyday player and Tommy Pham has been the most consistent.

At first glance, this appears to be a build for the future a season or two from now.

Gonzales, 25, was the Cardinals first round draft pick (19th overall) out of Gonzaga University in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.  He made seven starts (12 app.) over parts of three Major League seasons with the Cardinals posting a 4-2 record with a 5.53 ERA covering 40.2 innings.