The St. Louis Cardinals have changed their roster significantly since the conclusion of the 2023 season. The contracts of Drew VerHagen, Adam Wainwright, and several others expired. Then, the Cardinals non-tendered four players: Andrew Knizner, Dakota Hudson, Juan Yepez, and Jake Woodford. They also traded Tyler O'Neill and Richie Palacios.
After emptying several spots, the Cardinals began making additions. They acquired Sonny Gray, Kyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn to fortify their rotation. They also nabbed Riley O'Brien, Ryan Fernandez, Alan Reyes, Nick Robertson, and Andrew Kittredge to improve a bullpen that struggled at times in 2023. Other notable additions include Buddy Kennedy and Jared Young, who will compete for spots on the bench. Suffice to say, there are plenty of new faces around the clubhouse.
However, the Cardinals shouldn't be done yet. They have certainly made significant improvements to their roster, and they should at least be closer to contention than they were in 2023. That might not be enough, as the National League Central should be stronger in 2024. Even though the Brewers and Cubs have done little to bolster their major league rosters, both have significant stores of young talent to rely on. Notably, the Brewers' Jackson Chourio could begin the season as MLB's top overall prospect. Meanwhile, the Reds have improved, and even the Pirates could take a big step forward as their premium talent begins to reach the majors. It will be more difficult to win the division than it was in 2023.
Thus, the Cardinals should consider adding further to their roster. Just a few days ago, team owner Bill DeWitt stated that the Cardinals had reached their payroll ceiling. However, recent comments from both John Mozeliak and Bill DeWitt have implied that they may again be open to working in the free agent market. If that is the case, they should consider these six players who can provide strong production at relatively low prices.