2024 free agent pitchers the St. Louis Cardinals could target

A lot of money is coming off the books for the Cardinals after the 2023 season, and they desperately need roster help. What areas and players can management target for improvement?
Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals
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Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito is in a very similar situation to Jack Flaherty: young pitchers with high talent who have shown signs of struggle throughout their careers. For his career, Giolito has a 4.22 ERA, 102 ERA+, 4.26 FIP, and 1.229 WHIP. He strikes out nearly ten batters per nine innings.

While these numbers aren't eye-popping, he has shown flashes of being an ace; he received Cy Young votes every year from 2019-2021. His age is also enticing to teams in search of starters. He will play most of the 2024 season as a 29-year-old. Whoever signs Giolito will be getting a strong starter with ace potential in the middle of his career.

This won't come cheap, however. It's tough to find comps for a pitcher of Giolito's talent and age. Most recently, we can find similarities in Marcus Stroman (3 years, $71 million in 2022 at age 30.6), Kevin Gausman (5 years, $110 million at age 30.8), Eduardo Rodriguez (5 years, $77 million at age 28.6), Trevor Bauer (3 years, $102 million at age 30), and Carlos Rodon (6 years, $162 million at age 30). Giolito's contract will most likely mirror that of Carlos Rodon's. Giolito is represented by CAA, a group that rivals Boras and Co. (Rodon's reps).

Prediction: 6 years, $150 million ($25 million AAV)