The Cardinals should have their eyes set on White Sox's ace Dylan Cease
The St. Louis Cardinals entered Spring Training with a variety of changes and storylines to follow. Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols have now retired, former Chicago Cub Willson Contreras is now behind the plate, and Jordan Walker is pushing for an Opening Day roster spot, battling many other young bats who have an arguement to get playing time in St. Louis.
One question that worried most fans this offseason was the lack of improvements to the club's starting pitching. After passing on names like Carlos Rodon and other top starters in free agency, the Cardinals are banking on the return of Jack Flaherty and a five-man group that could turn in quality starts day in and day out for their elite lineup. While the lineup continues to impress every day this spring, the Cardinals' starting pitching is already causing some anxiety.
Adam Wainwright's velocity is down in a big way, Jack Flaherty is already experiencing "lower half discomfort", and the rest of the rotation should be solid, but not enough to match other contenders around the league. That's not breaking news to anyone, but the point is being reinforced early on this spring.
While it really is too early to know which starters will actually be available at this year's trade deadline, there is one name that stands out to me right now for the Cardinals' to pursue. If the Cardinals want to win a World Series, they'll need front-line pitching. There'll need to be a team this season that falters and is willing to sell at the deadline in order for this to happen, and there is one team and name I think could line up with St. Louis.
Let's look at three reasons why Chicago White Sox's Dylan Cease should be the Cardinals' primary target this season.