Hopefully with the drama and arbitration pressure behind him, Tyler O’Neal takes a deep breath and returns as a power bat and Gold Glove outfielder.
St. Louis Cardinals win arbitration case with Tyler O’Neal. As a result, O’Neal will be paid $3.4 million.
O’Neal filed for $4.15 million.
While O’Neal and his representatives at Boras had hoped to reach a multi-year deal with the Cardinals, the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. According to Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors, that could be put on hold until the upcoming offseason.
O’Neal told Derek Gould St. Louis Postal Express More recently, he’s looking to get out of arbitration drama. Due to the lockout, unfortunately, those cases spilled over into the regular season. O’Neal said he didn’t believe it was something he carried with him.
Still, O’Neal’s slow start suggests otherwise.
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He’s hitting just two home runs so far, hitting .198/.267/.317. That’s a far cry from the .286/.352/.560 he hit with 34 homers last season.
While O’Neal has been a mainstay at No. 3 on the lineup, Cardinals manager Oliver Mulmore has tried to give O’Neal and the lineup a shock by moving O’Neal to No. 4 or No. 6.
In Kansas City’s final game last week, O’Neal batted from sixth and hit a 3 and a homer. This is a good sign. On Wednesday night, Juan Yepez will play the Baltimore Orioles in left field without O’Neill in the lineup.
O’Neal is far better than he is now. Hopefully now that this is all sorted out, O’Neal can move on, relax and prove he deserves a multi-year deal. O’Neal is hitting the ball a lot better than he’s had so far this season. While he had a -1 defensive run saved, O’Neal was well-positioned to get his third consecutive Gold Glove in left field.
At the end of last season, it would have been unfathomable. He has to get out of it and focus on showing himself better or, unfortunately, he might forget about any multi-year deal with the Cardinals.
While the bulk of the team is off to a slow start, O’Neal can provide the team with a jolt to take things up a few notches. O’Neal’s recovery from the disappointment of not winning this arbitration should be the main driver of his progress, making it impossible for the Cardinals not to bring him back over the years.
First thing though. O’Neal has to be better than he is now. Fans know that O’Neal is more than capable of standing up to that fear.