Tier 3 is where the Cardinals can find solid arms at a low cost. The goal of bringing in one of these arms is to stabilize the middle innings with dependable arms that can consistently get the job done. These arms could carve out bigger roles or fill in when injuries occur, but when they are signed, the expectation is not to be one of their best bullpen arms out of the gate.
The Cardinals have been linked to Korean closer Woo-suk Go for a few weeks now, and at age 25, has been one of the best closers in the KBO in recent years.
Go has a mid to upper-90s fastball with a cutter, slider, and curveball mix to play off of that pitch. He's been a strikeout guy in Korea, something the Cardinals want to add more of to their bullpen.
Go was not as impressive in 2023 as he has been in past years, but he was dealing with some injuries. It's too big of a leap to call him a high-leverage arm today, but he very well could rise to be one by midseason.
Surprise, surprise, another former Cardinal. Shelby Miller just had an excellent season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and should find his way into another contender's bullpen this offseason.
Miller posted a 1.71 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 42 innings for Los Angeles, and although I don't think he'll keep his ERA that low next year, I see a guy who they could confidently slot into the middle of the bullpen and find spots for late in games as well.
Pitching in the Astros' bullpen the last three seasons, Ryne Stanek has a triple-digit fastball that he loves to throw alongside his slider and change-up combo.
Stanek would bring playoff experience to the Cardinals' bullpen, and has the talent to be a major piece of the bullpen if he rebounds from his 4.09 ERA in 2023. Stanek pitches with an intensity that could really help this Cardinals' bullpen take a step forward as a whole in 2024.
A former first round pick of the Cardinals, Ottavino has had a long and successful career for the Rockies, Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets, and has the chance to go back to where it all began for him this offseason.
Ottavino just turned 38 but has been really good for the Mets the last two years, posting a 2.62 ERA with 141 SO in 127.1 innings. His age gives me pause on banking on him as a high-leverage arm, but even if he's just the same dude he was last year or the year prior, he could pitch in big spots for St. Louis next year.