Cardinals: Ranking the top 5 offseason needs for St. Louis
By Josh Jacobs
The Cardinals still have clear needs on their roster going into 2023.
The St. Louis Cardinals sit at the top of the NL Central standings and are a much improved team from the one that was fielded on Opening Day. Midway through the 2022 season, there were questions about whether or not this team could make the playoffs, and now the club is in prime contention to go deep in October.
Still, there remain needs on this roster that need to be addressed going into 2023. I have talked about how the Cardinals window for a World Series truly opens next year and beyond, but some of that will depend on the moves the club makes in the offseason. With $38-$58 million potentially available to spend in free agency and extensions this winter, the Cardinals should be players to improve their roster.
Here are the top 5 needs for the club this winter as we stand currently.
No. 5: Left-handed reliever
The Cardinals bullpen has mostly been a bright spot for the club this season, but finding consistent production from lefties has been a major issue.
T.J. McFarland and Genesis Cabrera were major disappointments this season. The club will hope to see a bounce back from Cabrera in 2023, but his implosion this year is concerning. Zack Thompson and JoJo Romero have looked good for the club and deserve shots in 2023, but the club would be wise to bring in a veteran left-handed reliever as some insurance.
Brad Hand, Taylor Rodgers, Zach Britton, Will Smith, and Jake McGee are a few of the left-handed options that will be available this winter, and more names will add to that list on the trade block. Bullpen arms often times feel like lottery tickets, sometimes you hit on them, and other times you don’t. Having as many of these “tickets” as possible helps prevent your club from being without any reliable options during the year.