3. Potential trade partners in need of young bats with young pitching to dangle
I know, the idea of giving up on any of the Cardinals' young studs is difficult. But here's a public service announcement to anyone who's willing to listen.
You have to give up talent in order to acquire talent.
The Cardinals got extremely lucky not once, but twice over the last few years in getting both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado with weak trade packages. But expecting that to happen for this club once again is just ludicrous.
I expect the Cardinals to not only shop their impending free agents, but to look for ways to upgrade the rotation for 2024, even if it means dangling some of their young bats like Nolan Gorman, Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, Dylan Carlson, or Tommy Edman. I'm not saying I would be willing to trade each of these players specificially, but the Cardinals have to be willing to listen to what other teams may be willing to part with for those guys. Here's an example...
Local media in Seattle have already identified the Cardinals as a trade partner, and they themselves know it'll take some of their best young arms (Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, or even George Kibry) to get a deal done. If Seattle is willing to dangle those kinds of arms, the Cardinals must look to get creative and trade from a position of strength.
Perhaps some other organizations, like the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Guardians, or Miami Marlins may approach the Cardinals with similar desires. If the right arm is available, the Cardinals should pull the trigger. But if not, they can open those conversations up once again in the offseason.