Pro #1 – Carlos Rodon would give the Cardinals a legit ace
The first and most obvious pro of signing Carlos Rodon is how he fits exactly what the Cardinals need right now. Sure, you could add another bat to their lineup. They could also use a bullpen piece or two as well. Honestly, an argument could be made for more starting rotation depth with the amount of injury risks they have in their rotation.
None of these needs compare to a true front-line starter to top the Cardinals rotation. Rodon is coming off two-straight elite seasons, with 2022 seeing him post a 14-8 record with a 2.88 ERA and 237 SO in 178 innings of work. He also led all of baseball with a 2.25 FIP, indicating that his stuff was really that good.
There is hope that Jack Flaherty can regain his 2019 form and go toe to toe with some of the best in baseball in 2023, but relying on that has your best option is not a recipe for postseason success. Bringing in Rodon gives the Cardinals certainty at the top of their rotation (performance wise, more on the injury stuff later), and if Flaherty does regain his form, then the Cardinals go from zero aces to two in one off-season.
Here is what the Cardinals rotation would potentially look like if they signed Rodon.
1. LHP Carlos Rodon
2. RHP Jack Flaherty
3. RHP Miles Mikolas
4. LHP Jordan Montgomery
5. RHP Adam Wainwright
Other options: LHPs Steven Matz, Matthew Liberatore and RHPs Dakota Hudson, Andre Pallante.
If Rodon continues to be the guy he has been the last few seasons, this transforms the Cardinals rotations form one of the weakest among all contending teams to one of the better rotations on all of baseball, with the potential to be an elite one. This much of an improvement to their rotation could put them neck and neck with the Braves, Padres, Mets, Dodgers, and Phillies for a World Series appearance in 2023.