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?
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Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Julio Urias

Once a league leader in both wins and ERA, Julio Urias has been a bonified ace in the major leagues throughout his career. He has pitched for the Dodgers ever since he was 19(!!) back in 2016. Since then, he has done nothing but pitch admirably. His career ERA is 2.98 with a WHIP of 1.096 and 8.9 Ks/9 innings. In both 2022 and 2021, he pitched greater than 175 innings.

Perhaps the best (and most expensive) part of Urias would be his age; he turns 27 in just under a month. Whoever signs Urias would have his services for a large chunk of his prime years as a pitcher. Also, Urias has been relatively durable, having only three injuries in his career. His most recent hamstring injury kept him out for just over a month. These injuries are typical for a pitcher. He does not walk batters, he limits hard hits, and he strikes out batters at a rate just above league average. Urias would be a game-changer for the Cardinals.

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Having said all of this, Urias would be the most expensive pitcher of the bunch. He would easily surpass past deals of Carlos Rodon in both years and AAV. Jacob deGrom's contract is actually a good comp as far as AAV goes. The years may be extended slightly due to the age gap between the two starters.

Prediction: 7 years, $245 million ($35 million AAV)

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