Are John Mozeliak's quotes on the Cardinals need for pitching help consistent?

President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak recently discussed the team's offseason plans for the pitching staff. Has he been consistent this summer in his stated goals?
St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers
St Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

In a discussion about management decisions for the 2024 season, Cardinals' President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak dipped his toe into the team's need for pitching as well. According to John Denton, Mozeliak stated that "the answer is likely yes" to the team adding 3 starters this offseason. Denton's full tweet is below.

This is a bit of a different tone than Mozeliak has taken in past interviews. Back on August 14th, Mozeliak stated a clear need for three starting pitchers. At the time, Mozeliak's comments were very direct. The Cardinals needed three starters to provide depth to a rotation that has struggled with covering innings and covering them well.

"Realistically, we know we have to add three starters this offseason. We know we have to add depth. We went into the season thinking that we would have that covered. It didn't work out that way. Having a repeat of that would not be in the best interest of the franchise. So I think our approach is going to be very aggressive on the pitching side. We'll see where it takes us."

John Mozeliak

While Mozeliak hasn't been specific about which pitchers they would add or what level of talent those pitchers would be, he has been clear about the need for pitchers.

Mozeliak's most recent comments are very similar, except for a few minor changes. On September 15th, he used the word "likely". He could be taking a more realistic approach. It is very tough to add two starters, let alone three, to a team. While this can be done in a variety of ways (trades, signings, promotions), the Cardinals do need pitchers. By using the word "likely", Mozeliak could be tempering fans' expectations for the offseason.

Another addendum to Mozeliak's previous statements would be comments about internal improvements. Players such as Zach Thompson, Matthew Liberatore, and Drew Rom have been covering innings for the major league team since the trade deadline. While these young pitchers have performed well, they shouldn't be relied upon for the back three spots of the rotation. Rather, they would be best served as long-relief pitchers, AAA depth should an injury arise, or the team's 5-7 starters. Hopefully, John Mozeliak doesn't change his plans in the offseason and bring in one pitcher while relying on internal improvements to fill in the other two spots.


Steven Matz and Miles Mikolas have two rotation spots locked up next year. Adding three bona fide starters would push these young pitchers who have been playing recently to the 6-8 roles. Having 8 capable starters would make the rotation much more reliable in 2024. Hopefully, at least one of the 3 pitchers who are added can slot into the team's "ace" spot. That'll bump Matz and Mikolas down to the 3 and 4 spots, with a filler in at the 5th spot.

Aaron Nola appears to be a name that is swirling around for the Cardinals to sign. Blake Snell and Sonny Gray could also be potential targets. Expect a mixture of trades and signings to occur during the offseason. Should the Cardinals acquire two pitchers, the rotation will be much better off in 2024 than it was in 2023. Adding three would be ideal.