Here are the 7 starters the Cardinals need to target to save their rotation for 2024

The Cardinals have made two back-end-of-the-rotation signings in Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, meaning they now have to swing big on the next starter they acquire.

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Republic of Korea v Japan - Baseball - Olympics: Day 12 / Koji Watanabe/GettyImages
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6. Logan Gilbert

I debated for a bit where Logan Gilbert should end up on this list. Gilbert has a ton of potential and 2024 could be the year he goes from a really good starter to a true top-of-the-rotation talent. The problem for me when it comes to Gilbert remains the price to acquire him.

Now the Cardinals bought low on two starters, they really have no excuse not to spend big on the top guy Outside of the potential that Gilbert has, something that drives up his price point significantly is that he is cost-controlled through the 2027 season. While that is an awesome perk to have, I'm still not convinced it makes it worth trading Nolan Gorman and a massive package for rather than one of the other options available.

There is a ton to like about Gilbert though. In 2023, he went 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 190.2 innings of work while striking out 189 batters. In 2022, his ERA was just 3.20 in 32 starts. He's an ascending pitcher in this league, and with the starting rotation depth the Mariners have, it makes sense why they would shop him for young bats.

Outside of the price point though, one of my hesitancies is the Cardinals would be paying a premium for a guy due to his control and potential to be a front-line guy, rather than paying for a guy who is a front-line starter. I'd rather the Cardinals spend their resources, money or trade chips, to acquire someone with the proven talent to start Opening Day, rather than someone they hope continues on the path to that.

Now, if all the top starters are signed and other trades aren't working out, Gilbert becomes a very real target for me, but for now, I see other options that the Cardinals could pursue that keep their lineup intact for 2024.