Bold Prediction #4 - The Cardinals will aquire an ace before the end of 2023
While I was tempted to say the Cardinals will acquire an ace before the trade deadline, that will depend heavily on where the club is at in July, and what is available on the market. I do believe during this calendar year, the Cardinals will aquire an ace for their staff.
It could it be someone like Pablo Lopez or someone not currently available during the season. If they wait until free agency, I could see them going after Max Scherezer, Aaron Nola, or Julio Urias as their guy. Names like Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow will surely be in trade talks by that point as they run out of team control.
It's frustrating that there is not a clear ace available to them at this moment, but there will be great at different points in 2023, and I do think the Cardinals will pounce on finding a sure thing for the top of their pen. They'll have even more of an excuse to pursue that with four starting pitchers hitting free agency after this season.
I do think by the end of 2023, one or two young arms will make themselves clear options for the 2024 rotation which will make it easier for St. Louis to spend big or give up significant assets for a stater. Right now, every starter in their rotation is in the last year of arbitration or on a post-arbitration contract. Not having a cheap option in your rotation makes it harder to go out and spend big on that ace, so developing those options will help a ton.
With all that being said, I do want to make my prediction about how the club will fair by the end of the 2023 season, and I do think this may surprise many of you.