Ever since the trade deadline, the Cardinals have been in search of controllable starting pitching. They had been in contact with the Mariners prior to the trade deadline, as was reported by Jon Morosi of MLB Network at the time.
Morosi noted that the Cardinals and Mariners were a fit, as Seattle needed some offense in exchange. However, nothing materialized. Derrick Goold had reported that the Cardinals were looking into Logan Gilbert, but Seattle made it clear that they were not interested in trading him.
But Seattle does still have a few options to choose from, two to be exact. Both are controllable starters and possess swing-and-miss stuff that could really benefit the St. Louis rotation. Those two starters are Bryan Woo and Bryce Miller.
Both young right-handers made their Major League debuts this season and gave the Mariners a huge boost in their starting rotation. Miller went 8-7 in 25 starts with an ERA of 4.32, while Woo was 4-5 with a 4.21 ERA in 18 starts.
The future looks bright for both of them, which means the Cardinals are going to have to pay the price in order to land one of them in a trade. This means getting rid of players such as Nolan Gorman, Brendan Donovan, or even Lars Nootbaar in order to meet the asking price, depending on what that is for the Mariners.
Once the offseason begins, it's very likely that at least one of the three pitchers added by the Cardinals will come via trade.
In this piece, we will examine both Woo and Miller and see how they would fit with the Cardinals in 2024.
As previously mentioned, Miller went 8-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 25 starts for Seattle in 2023. He averaged 8.2 punchouts per nine innings and fewer than two walks per nine.
Needless to say, he possesses some of that top-of-the-rotation stuff that the Cards are looking for. I would say that as of now, he's got the potential to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter, with three being more likely. He's serviceable and takes the ball every fifth day.
Miller is also young and has a bright future ahead of him, so it would certainly be great if he could be added in a trade this offseason. That way, the Cardinals would only have to pay for two starters in free agency. And while I don't put a lot of stock into FIP, Miller has a mark of 3.98, which isn't bad at all.
Woo had a slightly better season than Miller if you look at ERA. In my opinion, that is still the best measure of a pitcher's success or failure. Woo went 4-5 with a 4.21 ERA, as mentioned previously. But the 23-year-old's strikeout numbers are quite eye-popping.
The right-hander averaged 9.5 punchouts per nine innings. He averaged a few more walks than Miller did, but 3.2 per nine isn't bad by any stretch. He has tremendous velocity, which could really benefit the Cardinals.
Between the two, I'd be more inclined to choose Woo as a potential trade candidate. His potential is off the charts, and having a young arm in the mix would certainly help, especially in terms of depth.