2. Cleveland Guardians
Cleveland took several steps back this season and finished 10 games below the .500 mark.
But they have one pitcher in particular who could be of use to the Cardinals.
Shane Bieber is entering the final year of his contract with Cleveland, and chances are good the Guardians won't be able to sign him when he becomes a free agent.
And so, the Cardinals could trade for him and have their ace for 2024. Bieber went 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA, which isn't bad, but also isn't quite what we're used to seeing from the former Cy Young.
Granted, he dealt with a shoulder injury and missed significant time this year. That is something the Cardinals are going to need to be cognizant of if they do try to trade for him.
But when healthy, Bieber is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, and he certainly fits the mold of an ace. St. Louis is going to need at least two frontline starters, and Cleveland would certainly be a good place to start if they want to trade for one.
To me, Bieber makes more sense than somebody like Tyler Glasnow. Glasnow would be a solid pickup, but he often struggles with injuries. Bieber's injury was really the first major setback of his career.
He's also only 28 and has historically been a very strong strikeout pitcher, with this year being a notable exception. The Cardinals would be wise to pick up the right-hander while he's still in his prime.