1. Find a starting pitcher
The Cardinals likely had the worst starting rotation of any team in the postseason this year. While Adam Wainwright was great all season, Jack Flaherty, the team’s Opening Day ace, was injured for much of the year and only pitched out of the bullpen after he returned. The rest of the rotation was a hodgepodge of veterans (Lester, Happ and Miles Mikolas) and guys with limited major league experience (Jake Woodford and Johan Oviedo).
While a trade for the seemingly ageless Max Scherzer would be a dream scenario, I can’t see it happening. The Dodgers are awash in cash and can easily afford to re-sign him. The only leverage the Cardinals might have is that Scherzer could have a desire to play for his hometown team.
A more realistic goal is for the Cardinals to go after someone like left-hander Steven Matz, who had a very good second half with the Toronto Blue Jays. If they really wanted to take a risk, they could try for injury-prone right-hander Noah Syndergaard, but that doesn’t seem like a Cardinals-type move.
With the likely departures of Happ, Lester and Carlos Martinez, the Cardinals will have some holes to fill in their rotation, and while prospects such as Matthew Liberatore and Zack Thompson could help at some point, the team should seek external pitching to get a more immediate impact.