Here's a deep cut. Back in 2010, 24-year-old Adam Ottavino actually debuted with the Cardinals before landing with the Rockies for the majority of his quite prolific Major League career. Now at age 38, there may be concerns that he can keep up his performance, but he's been at least a serviceable reliever in recent seasons with the Red Sox and Mets.
It's unlikely Adam Ottavino will pitch many high-leverage innings for the Cardinals if they signed him, but they need an innings-eater reliever to replace Drew VerHagen and Chris Stratton. Ottavino has thrown at least 53 relief innings every season since 2017 with the exception of the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign, so he fits the bill perfectly.
With an ERA of 3.21, Ottavino greatly over-performed his expected FIP of 4.52 in 2023, but he still provided innings for the Mets in bulk. A short-term deal would be welcome as the final relief option for the Cardinals' pen in 2024.
Alex Reyes' tenure in St. Louis was as rocky as it was disappointing. As a former top pitching prospect, there were lofty expectations that Reyes would headline the rotation one day. However, due to injuries and a suspension, Reyes was never able to realize his potential. During the first half of the 2021 season, slivers of greatness shone through as Reyes became an All-Star closer.
Unfortunately, his second half was frustrating as he blew several saves, most notably one that eliminated the Cardinals in the Wild Card game against the Dodgers. He hasn't pitched in MLB since that game, as a shoulder injury in 2022 Spring Training would sideline him for the entire season. He would be non-tendered in the offseason and sign a contract with the Dodgers. However, after undergoing another shoulder operation, Reyes would miss all of 2023 as well.
Should the Cardinals take another chance on Reyes, it would probably just be a Minor League prove-it deal. If he were finally able to realize some of his immense potential, he could become a serviceable reliever for the Cardinals next year. He'd be another no-risk high-reward target. At worst, severing ties with Reyes would cost nothing, and at best the Cardinals bullpen could be further bolstered.