The Cardinals found a lot of success in bringing over another Yankees starter in the form of Jordan Montgomery during the season, and now find themselves linked to New York free agent and former Pittsburgh Pirate Jameson Taillon.
Taillon is the least accomplished of the names on this list, having never been in the Cy Young voting like Eovaldi or Bassitt, and has never been named to an All-Star team. In 2022, Taillon threw 177 innings with a 3.92 ERA and 7.7 K/9. He’s a good starter, but if the Cardinals were to sign him to his projected 4-year, $70 million deal, that would be a huge waste of money.
Some would argue that Taillon is a guy due to breakout soon, as he has very good stuff and has spent his last few seasons in a very difficult American League East. The Cardinals need more certainty in their rotation though, not another “what if?”. Even if Taillon does breakout, it’s unlikely he pitches to the level of a true number one starter. And a $17.5 million a year, it’s not only not what the Cardinals need, but it seems like an overpay as well.
If the Cardinals sign a starter who is not of “ace” level this offseason, that is fine. Where they would be making a huge mistake is if they sign a starter who is not going to be their true number one to a large, multi-year contract. Spend big on an ace or do not spend big at all on starting pitching this offseason.