The Cardinals need to acquire more starting pitchers, not send them packing
Cardinals starting pitching has been a problem this season. Three hurlers have ERAs around 4.00, which is rather indicative of mediocrity. The other four have ERAs well over 5.00, which is rather indicative of awfulness.
Two of those three solid starters are Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty, and each is a free agent at season's end. A contract extension with Monty is still a possibility, but if you think Flaherty is likely to be a Cardinal in 2024, you don't know Jack.
And then there's Miles Mikolas. Is he exciting? No. He doesn't get boatloads of strikeouts, but he balances that out by being very stingy with walks. He generally keeps the team in the game, rarely dazzling but infrequently imploding.
There's value in such a pitcher, plenty of it. In fact, the Cardinals appreciated Mikolas' contributions enough to sign him to an extension that added $40M to his salary guarantees while tacking on two more seasons to his pact. With Steven Matz - who falls into the earlier "awful" category - the only other starting pitcher signed beyond this year, St. Louis is - and will be - looking for pitchers to take the ball every fifth game. They can't afford to deal one of their good contributors away.
Plus, there's the matter of that extension and what trading Mikolas just months after the ink dried would look like to other players, both current Cardinals and potential free-agent signees. Who wants to sign a long-term deal with a team that may send you elsewhere a short time later?
St. Louis' short-term needs and long-term reputation together dictate Miles Mikolas will be pitching in a Cardinals uniform this year and the start of the next, at the very least. And he'll have Goldschmidt and Edman to keep him company on those warm Midwest nights along the Mississippi River.