For a franchise with a reputation of success such as the St. Louis Cardinals, the 2023 was a failure and an embarrassment on multiple fronts. Not only did the Cardinals finish last in the NL Central for the first time in the division's existence, but they also did so entering the seasons as heavy favorites to win the division. The supposed starting pitching depth was nonexistent, as the Milwaukee Brewers steamrolled their way to the NL Central crown. For Cardinals fans is there really anything more embarrassing than finishing below the dismal Pittsburgh Pirates?
Another year of Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado's prime years was wasted as the Cardinals played their worst season since 1990 and their first sub-.500 season since 2007. This offseason is perhaps the most important one in Cardinals history, so the front office must be careful not to make the same mistakes. Ownership has vowed to make the 2023 season a blip on an otherwise successful run, but like the payroll increase that never came, those promises could prove to be very empty.
The Cardinals may once again find themselves on the couch in October watching former players such as Adolis Garcia, Jordan Montgomery, Zac Gallen, and many others find success on the biggest stage.
Without a few philosophical changes, the Cardinals could find themselves in the exact same spot next offseason. Cardinals fans' disappointment would be at an all-time high, and both John Mozeliak and Oli Marmol would probably lose their jobs. So, what mistakes do they need to avoid?