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
Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Aaron Nola

Aaron Nola started his career with the Phillies at the young age of 22 and never looked back. He has a 3.67 ERA, 3.37 FIP, 1.124 WHIP, and 115 ERA+ for his career, and he strikes out batters at a rate of ten per nine innings. He has been the ace of the Phillies staff for many years now, receiving Cy Young votes three separate years and even MVP votes back in 2018.

Nola would instantly slot in as the ace of virtually every staff in the majors. The Cardinals would be wise to pursue a pitcher of his caliber regardless of cost. Having recently turned 30, teams who sign Nola would have him for his early-to-mid-thirties. While his fastball has lost a tick or two these last few seasons, his curveball and changeup have always been strong pitches with high whiff rates.

Aaron Nola most closely comps to Carlos Rodon with more innings for his career. However, Nola's lack of injury history puts him a notch above Rodon. Expect Aaron Nola's contract to surpass Rodon's from this past offseason.

Prediction: 6 years, $192 million ($32 million AAV)