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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5. Sonny Gray

It's not a secret that I am a huge Sonny Gray fan, but unless the Cardinals go out and get two more starters this offseason to top their rotation, I think he would make for an underwhelming splash this offseason.

I think Gray has the talent to top the rotation if needed, but his best role by far is being the second-best starter on this staff. If the Cardinals traded for Dylan Cease or Tyler Glasnow to pair with him, that would make all of the sense in the world. Alone though, this rotatoin just is not good enough.

Again, that is no shot against Gray. He just put up a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts in 2023, finishing second in American League Cy Young voting. Since coming into the league, Gray is 15th in all of baseball in ERA among starters who've thrown 1000 innings. Not only has he been massively underrated throughout his career, 2023 was not a "flash in the pan" when it comes to his most recent seasons. Gray posted a 3.08 ERA in 2022 and is 17th in baseball in ERA since 2019 (better than names like Zach Wheeler, Sandy Alcantara, Blake Snell, George Kirby, Logan Webb, and Luis Castillo).

He's not a flashy big-name starter, but Gray has proven he belongs among the best starters in today's game. Honestly, my main concern with him being the sole front-line guy for this team is his age. I'm confident he'll continue to be a very productive pitcher and a bargain of a contract, but the Cardinals need certainty at the top of their rotation. Gray is a great step in that direction, but they need more to go with him.

If they sign Gray and no one else to pair with him, I'd give this offseason a D grade. Again, that would not be a reflection on how I feel about Gray as a starter but would be reflective of how the Cardinals handled their rotation issues as a whole.