I’ve seen Cardinals fans float White Sox starter Dylan Cease out there as a trade option, but coming off of a Cy Young candidacy and multiple years of control still ahead of him, that seems like a long shot at best. And if fans saw the kind of package it would take to acquire him, I am sure most would balk at it anyways.
One one Cease’s teammates, Lucas Giolito, would be an intriguing option for the Cardinals, should they talk to the White Sox about a trade. Giolito was a top prospect in baseball who struggled to be consistent at the major league level early on, but finished top 11 in AL Cy Young voting from 2019-2021.
The 28-year old had a down year in 2022, going 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA in 161.2 innings of work for a dysfunctional Chicago team. While his most recent season might not instill confidence in Cardinals fans, his recent track record indicates he would be the best starter in the Cardinals rotation.
Giolito is a strikeout pitcher, durable, and throws a lot of innings, things the Cardinals will value most in their attempt to bolster the rotation. Outside of the shortened COVID season, he has thrown at least 161.2 innings each season and made at least 29 starts per season as well. His career strikeouts per nine sits at 9.5, and has gotten as high as 12.1 K/9 during his best seasons.
Going into a contract season, Giolito would not fix the Cardinals need of more starters for their rotation beyond the 2023 season, but they may be able to catch a career year out of him while Giolito fights to prove himself for a massive contract in a stacked free agent pitching class.