4. The young core is ready to win now and in the future
Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Willson Contreras are not going anywhere. Contreras has finally settled in at the plate for St. Louis, and I expect both Arenado and Goldschmidt to bounce back next year as well.
But in all reality, the Cardinals' young core is ready to blossom into the next generation of leaders and stars for this team.
Jordan Walker and Lars Nootbaar already are on the trajectory to be All-Star-level players in the near future. Nolan Gorman is right there with them as well if he can stay healthy. Brendan Donovan really broke out at the plate during the summer before having season-ending elbow surgery. Masyn Winn is getting his first take of big-league action, and more young names are on the way as well.
I mentioned this earlier, but typically teams that implode like St. Louis have are clearly in need of a massive youth infusion, but that's not the case with this Cardinals team. Offensively, they are already a top-10 offense in baseball, and I expect them to be a top-3 unit in 2024. Their defense has been a source of frustration this year, but the addition of Winn, as well as the improvement of Walker and Gorman defensively, should see that unit bounce back next season as well.
2024 will come down to whether or not the Cardinals' can rebuild this pitching staff on the fly, but 2025 and beyond hinges on those young names as well as guys like Roby, Hence, Saggese, Scott II, and company. This organization is brimming with young talent, and that bodes well for their future.