Dream Cardinals starting rotation for the 2024 season

Given the budget the Cardinals have to work with, this would be their dream rotation for the 2024 season.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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Number two starter: Tyler Glasnow

I created three trade proposals the Cardinals could send for Tyler Glasnow a few days ago, as I am increasingly convinced that he makes too much sense for what the Cardinals need this year.

Glasnow made a career-high 21 starts in 2023, which right off the bat, is a bit of a red flag. If Glasnow was a free agent asking for a five-year mega-deal or was going to require a top prospect to acquire, I wouldn't feel the same way about this, but the price to acquire him here should be relatively low.

In this scenario, the Cardinals acquire Tyler Glasnow and $3 million from the Rays for OF/1B Alec Burleson and RHP Sem Robberse.

In my three trade ideas from the other day, I actually had the Cardinals receiving $5 million from the Rays in this deal, but I purposely dropped the money a bit here to show this scenario is realistic, even if the Cardinals do not get significant salary relief from the Rays. That's why I left $18 million left over, as although that's more than enough for two relievers, it gives wiggle room to add more dollars to any of these deals if needed.

Glasnow posted a 3.53 ERA in 2023 with 12.2 SO/9 innings. His stuff is arguably the best in baseball among starters, and his 2.91 FIP goes to show that he pitched even better than the results showed. Glasnow as the number two starter here gives the Cardinals an elite 1-2-3 punch, but they also are able to cover the potential loss of innings from Glasnow if he gets injured.

You'll see who the number one guy is in a moment and how he eats innings, but so does Miles Mikolas here, and Sonny Gray consistently gets in the 180-inning range as well. Even if Glasnow is only giving the Cardinals 20-23 starts in the regular season next year, as long as he is healthy for October (which historically he has been), they can trust Thompson or one of those other internal options to cover the other 9-12 starts Glasnow misses.

Glasnow, due to the injury risk, cannot be the only top-of-the-rotation talent the Cardinals acquire, but his low trade value makes him too intriguing of a trade candiate not to go after. Alec Burleson has a bright future in this league, but the Cardinals can afford to part ways with him for someone like Glasnow. Sem Robberse just came over in the Jordan Hicks trade, but the Cardinals have a lot of arms in Triple-A right now, and again, they need a Glasnow type.