Richie Palacios is headed to the Cardinals. The Guardians came to terms on a deal which would sent Palacios to St. Louis in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. This trade comes just a few days after Cleveland designated Palacios for assignment.
Mostly a minor-leaguer, Palacios saw 54 games with the Guardians in 2022, but was not able to do enough to stick around. Palacios slashed .232/.293/.286 in 123 at-bats last season, with 26 hits including six doubles to go with six stolen bases.
Palacios began the 2023 down in Columbus, however his previous success in the minors did not continue. The 26-year old was only slashing 217/.351/.318 with the Clippers, quite the drop off in production from his performance in 2022 (.279/.371/.458). This essentially lowered any chance that Cleveland could have called him up this year, even when the Guardians offense was performing at an embarrassingly low level. If Palacios was not able to crack the version of the lineup which looked like they had no business caling themselves a major league team, he was never going to do it.
WIth his decline in play combined with the Guardians using several other options in the outfield this season, it became clear that his path back to the big leagues would come from a different organization. Cleveland is looking to add a different hitter profile to their lineup, and at his best Palacios' approach at the plate is a redundancy when compared to some of their other lineup regulars.
Things may have been different for Palacios in Cleveland if he was able to show any sort of power. The Guardians lineup, specificially the outfield, is severely lacking in that area and it certainly seems that any new players added to the mix at the major league level is going to have some sort of pop. Without that pop, Palacios' chances at being an option for the Guardians were non-existent and now he will get his chance in the Cardinals organization.