This postseason will not feature the Cardinals this time around after a maddening and disappointing 2023 season. But surely they will be keeping their eyes on the teams that did make the playoffs, to see who can help improve the Cardinals for 2024.
All twelve clubs that made the playoffs will have at least one pending free agent that'll attract a lot of teams in the winter and could use the playoffs to improve their stock going into the free agent market. You can expect the Cardinals to make a lot of changes to their team in the next 6 months to try to correct what all went wrong this season.
Pitching will be the top priority and the Cardinals have been linked to some pitchers that'll demand big money this off-season. Not every playoff team will have a starting pitcher available, but other coinciding moves involving players on the Cardinals' current roster, could help the Cardinals turn things around next year. Let's first take a look at who the Cardinals could look at that are currently on a team playing in the Wild Card Series.
Texas Rangers Pitcher Jordan Montgomery
The trade that sent Montgomery to Texas this summer has seemed to work out so far for both the Rangers and the Cardinals. Chris Stratton has been one of the Rangers' more reliable relievers down the stretch with a 3.41 ERA in 29 innings, Montgomery has only 2 losses in his 11 starts with Texas and a 2.79 ERA, while the Cardinals received John King who got high leverage outs for the Cards late in the season, and very intriguing prospects Tekoah Roby and Thomas Saggese.
During some very difficult stretches for the Cardinals this season, Montgomery was usually the guy the Cardinals could trust to give them length and quality innings, which is why the Cardinals got the return they got for him. When he was traded away it felt like a reunion this off-season would surely be possible, and the Cardinals should definitely attempt to bring him back.
Montgomery will turn 31 in December, his ERA has gone down in each of the last 5 seasons while his number of innings pitched has gone up as well, he is getting better and better. Having "Monty " back in St.Louis long term would give the Cardinals a reliable top-of-the-rotation arm for years to come.