Grading the St. Louis Cardinals offseason using 3 different perspectives

Now that the Cardinals' offseason is over, let's grade the offseason from some different vantage points.

Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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It's not often that the St. Louis Cardinals offseason is effectively eight months long.

Since the Cardinals were arguably out of contention in June and officially waved the white flag on the 2023 season in July, all eyes have been on the 2024 for some time now.

There were pretty big expectations set on the club going into the offseason to turn the ship around. Yes, there was plenty of talent already on the roster, but the clear deficiencies on the pitching side of things created a massive to-do list for the Cardinals' front office. They came into the offseason wanting to add three starting pitchers, two established relievers, and some more pitching depth on top of that.

They achieved each of those things, leading to some pretty solid grades from most national outlets:

USA Today: B-

The Athletic: C

FOX Sports: B

While the national outlets seem to rate the Cardinals offseason somewhere between average and good, the feeling around St. Louis seems wide-ranging. Some believe the offseason has been a complete failure and the club is destined to fail again, while others have been really excited about the team they've put together. Most fans fall somewhere in between.

Now that Spring Training games are underway, I wanted to give my final offseason grade for the Cardinals, but I wanted to add two other perspectives as well. While the third grade you'll see here is my overall opinion of the offseason, I thought it was too important to acknowledge two other realities as well.

The first grade I'll give is based on the expectations that many of us had going into the offseason. While some fairly doubted the Cardinals' ability to make splashy moves, they were certainly talking the talk in a way they had before (you can see my points on why their rhetoric was different from prior offseasons here), but they ultimately underwhelmed many of us.

The second grade I gave was based on the constraints that ownership gave the front office. While Bill DeWitt III started the offseason with a promise that they would "climb in the payroll rankings", it became clear as the months went on that the payroll they were giving John Mozeliak to work with was much lower than most of us thought.

And finally, the third grade I'll give is my official grade, the one that factors in all of those realities and grades the Cardinals based on the totality of the offseason, which is a reflection on both ownership and the front office.

Here are my grades based from those perspectives and my official grade for the St. Louis Cardinals' offseason.