The St. Louis Cardinals have had themselves a busy offseason after one of the most disappointing years in franchise history and are hoping to get back into contention during 2024.
Of the 12 players they added to just their 40-man roster during the winter, nine of them were pitchers, just reiterating their need to go out and make major changes to their staff in order to right their wrongs from last year. Those additions come off of the heels of a trade deadline where the Cardinals added nine additional players as they shipped off upcoming free agents for prospects that could help them in 2024 and beyond.
Barring the Cardinals getting really aggressive or a deal "falling into their laps" in the coming weeks, their offseason is likely finished, and so we are beginning to have a good idea of what this team will look like once games begin in the near future.
While we'll be grading each of the Cardinals' additions this offseason shortly, I wanted to take a moment today to give a letter grade to each of the Cardinals' "units" that play a role in their success day in and day out. In order to be competitive for 162 games and go deep into October, a club needs to strengthen itself in a variety of areas on the field: offense, defense, starting pitching, bullpen, and the coaching staff. Front office and ownership for sure matter when it comes to roster construction, but once they get on the field, it's these units that win or lose ballgames.
So, that begs the question, how do each of the Cardinals units look going into 2024? The pitching staff looks very different, and although the position player group did not change much, theirs new expectations and roles for players that should contribute to a different-looking group there as well. And even though there weren't any firings amongst the coaching staff, there were new staff roles added and extra investment given to that group as well.
Let's take a look at each of these units and grade how they look going into the 2024 season for St. Louis.