Cardinals Targeting 3 Starting Pitchers This Offseason

With their starting rotation a huge question mark heading into the offseason, after trading away free agents-to-be Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery and the impending retirement of Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals have made it clear just exactly what their focus will be this winter.

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak wants to find no less than three starting pitchers to plug into his devastated rotation. 

“Realistically, we know we have to add three starters this offseason. We know we have to add depth. We went into the season thinking that we would have that covered. It didn't work out that way...

"Having a repeat of that would not be in the best interest of the franchise. So I think our approach is going to be very aggressive on the pitching side. We'll see where it takes us.”  

On the free agency front, there will be plenty of strong starters to choose from, including Shohei Ohtani (as if...), Marcus Stroman (if he opts out), Lucas Giolito and Julio Urias, among many others. 

Mozeliak also added some upper minors pitching prospects in the deadline deals that sent out Flaherty, Montgomery and closer Jordan Hicks. But there are no guaranteed rotation arms among them as yet. 

Only Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz are sure things for the starting staff in St. Louis next season, as both are signed through to the end of the 2025 season. Mikolas has been decent this year, with a 4.27 ERA, though far from a repeat of his All-Star 2022 season. Matz had a disastrous start to the campaign, lost his rotation spot, but has come back with a vengeance, allowing just six earned runs in six starts since returning to the rotation, while holding batters to a .534 OPS during that stretch. 

With a long history of pitching and defense ruling the day in St. Louis, the Cards are looking to get back to that philosophy for 2024. 

Photo: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports