RHP Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox
This isn't a new idea, but even being out of contention this year, Dylan Cease still makes a ton of sense for St. Louis.
After finishing second in Cy Young voting in 2022 with a 2.20 ERA and 227 SO in 184 innings, Cease has struggled this year to the tune of a 4.30 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Cease still has great stuff though, and there is a lot of reason to believe he will get himself back on track, especially if he gets out of Chicago.
While the situation in St. Louis isn't better this year, Cease can look forward to making a playoff run in 2024 headlining the Cardinals' rotation.
Cease would be the most expensive player to acquire on this list due to his mix of team control and elite performance. The Cardinals have the assets to pull off such a deal. It would likely require two of Nootbaar, Gorman, Carlson, Edman, Hence, Winn, or Donovan, and then a few of Graceffo, Yepez, Burleson, etc. The cost would be high, but at some point, the Cardinals have to be aggressive if they want to fix this rotation.
They would have to be very confident that Cease is the guy who can lead their rotation moving forward to make a deal, but if they are, it makes so much sense.