MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch has recently speculated that the Cardinals will sign veteran outfielder Sam Fuld–who hasn’t played in a game since 2015 due to shoulder surgery–so we’ll go ahead and guess that they’ll end up signing him to spice up their outfield competition. Considering their subpar outfield depth (Tommy Pham, Jose Martinez, and Anthony Garcia follow the starters on the depth chart), it wouldn’t hurt the Cardinals to sign another veteran such as Gregor Blanco or Franklin Gutierrez, even if they end up signing Fuld.
Harrison Bader, the club’s top position player prospect, and Todd Cunningham, a 27-year-old with 130 big-league plate appearances to his credit, will also look to establish themselves as depth options during the spring. Bader fizzled out after a promotion to Triple-A last year and was returned to Double-A by the end of the season, while Cunningham hit .148 in 27 big-league at-bats for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, so it’s safe to say there’s legitimate questions about the ability of both players to contribute in the majors if necessary this season.
It’s also worth noting that lefty pitcher Jordan Schafer, who has spent his entire big-league career to date as an outfielder, is still expected to moonlight in the outfield this spring. His primary role is supposed to be as a reliever, though, so he doesn’t seem to be a player that the Cardinals would rely on to fill an outfield role long-term if a starter were to go down.