2 reasons the Cardinals will be better in 2024 and one reason they won't

The Cardinals' offseason is pretty much complete at this point. They've made some key moves, but will they truly be better in 2024 than they were last year?

Mar 4, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54)
Mar 4, 2024; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cardinals will be better because they have their ace

Going into the offseason, the need for an ace was clear for the Cardinals. When they signed Sonny Gray, they finally found their ace in the hole.

Gray finished second in the American League Cy Young race after posting a 2.79 ERA with the Twins. The Cardinals signed Gray to a three-year, $75 million contract to cap off the rotation additions.

The 34-year-old is somebody that can be trusted to start Game 1 of a playoff series. That's something the Cardinals haven't had since Adam Wainwright was in his prime. Even with Gray nursing a hamstring injury, fans can remain confident in him as an ace in 2024.

The Cardinals also needed some swing-and-miss for their rotation, and Gray averaged nine punchouts per nine innings in 2023 while serving as the Twins ace.

One ace won't make the Cardinals World Series contenders, but the time had come for the team to finally spend some money in free agency. They got Gray at a good price and now have somebody they can bank on for the next three years.

As mentioned above, Gray is somebody who gives you a chance to win in the playoffs, and if Miles Mikolas bounces back and returns to his 2022 form, then you have a pretty solid top two in your starting rotation, which is an exciting thought.

Again, it doesn't put the Cardinals on par with teams like the Dodgers, Phillies, and Braves, but a guy like Gray can at the very least put fear into the rest of the NL Central.