OF Tyler O’Neill
Prior to the recent re-signing of outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, there was a younger and better version of him available through trade in Canadian-born Tyler O’Neill. Wouldn’t it have been great to bring home one of our own and at the same time boost the offensive potential for one of the Jays’ prime fielding positions?
After all, O’Neill is only two years removed from his breakthrough season with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 in which he posted an impressive .286 batting average and .912 OPS, with 89 runs scored, 26 doubles, 34 home runs, 80 RBI and 15 stolen bases. On top of that, his exceptional defensive play in the field in which he has put up 25 DRS along with a .976 fielding percentage so far over his six-year MLB career has also earned him two Gold Glove awards in the process.
However, he ran into some injury woes in the past two seasons and had been even relegated to a more reduced role with the team recently. Subsequently, he was eventually dealt this offseason to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for two minor league pitchers in Nick Robertson and Victor Santos, with neither being a top 30 prospect in the Red Sox system. The Jays could have easily matched or exceeded the package of players in which the Cardinals received, but instead missed out on what could have been a significant, low-risk, high-reward move for the ballclub.