2) Matt Carpenter
The Cardinals should consider a reunion with Matt Carpenter. Now 38, Carpenter is nearing the end of his career. Yes, he was abysmal in 2023 with the Padres. However, Carpenter is still just a year removed from an incredible 2022 with the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, injuries derailed what was shaping up to be a career year. The San Diego Padres liked it enough to extend him a multi-year offer.
Should the Cardinals be quite as ambitious as the Padres were? Probably not. The Padres clearly overpaid for an aging player. However, Carpenter has drawn relatively little interest this off-season. He's likely to be a cheap add. He would make a great bench bat. He also retains at least some positional versatility and could easily fill in in the event of injury.
Moreover, Carpenter could be a helpful presence in the clubhouse, as the veteran has played deep into October several times, including a run to the World Series in 2013. He's also historically played well against the Cardinals' biggest rival. I'm mostly mentioning that so I can include this video.
Perhaps most notably, a Carpenter acquisition could boost the Cardinals' infield depth. Doing so could allow the team to move on from some of their young talent. Carpenter is still capable of filling in for an extended period of time. This added confidence could encourage the Cardinals to make some sort of move to acquire more pitching, such as Dylan Cease or Jesus Luzardo.
Finally, a Carpenter reunion would be fun and exciting for many fans. Carpenter enjoyed an outstanding career in St. Louis, and it would be fitting to return to the team that developed him. Carpenter spent eleven seasons in St. Louis. He nearly won an MVP award in 2013 and 2018. His Cardinal career will likely lead to induction into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. It would just feel proper to see Carpenter return to St. Louis to finish his career.