On one hand, the Cardinals bullpen came up big on multiple occasions for the club throughout the 2022 season. On the other hand, it lacks enough power arms to compete with the best bullpens in the league.
Ryan Helsley was masterful throughout 2022 and is one of the best relievers in baseball, but outside of him, the bullpen lacks legit strikeout stuff, and relied to heavily on just a few relievers to get the job done. Helsley, Giovanny Gallegos, Andre Pallante and Zack Thompson should be important members of the bullpen in 2023, but the club could use more high-end options.
Relievers such as Kenley Jansen, Zach Eflin, Rafael Montero, Robert Suarez, Nick Martinez, or Carlos Estevez should all peak the interest of St. Louis when it comes to adding top-end bullpen arms. While the Cardinals have a terrible track record with bullpen investments through free agency, its a risk they will need to take in order to compete with the best in the game.
Outside of signing another reliever, some of their top pitching prospects could carve out roles in the bullpen this season, as guys like Gordon Graceffo, Tink Hence, and Connor Thomas may have the stuff St. Louis needs. There also may be opportunities to acquire top end relievers in the trade market his offseason, which the Cardinals should be open to.