Here is what the perfect offseason would look like for the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals could go in so many different directions this offseason, but it's hard to argue there is a better scenario than this.
Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Opening Day Roster after the perfect offseason

Talk about a busy offseason! Let's quickly recap who the Cardinals acquired, lost, and what their Opening Day roster would look like in this scenario.

Offseason Recap

Signed: Aaron Nola (7yr/$175m), Sonny Gray (3yr/$69m), and Yuki Matsui (3yr/$21m)

Traded for: Shane Bieber (1yr/$12.5mil) and Prelander Berroa ($720,000)

Traded away: Tyler O'Neill ($5.5 m) and Dylan Carlson ($1.8m)

Non-tendered: Andrew Knizner, Dakota Hudson, Jake Woodford, and John King

Total salary added to books: $65 million

Opening Day Roster

Starting Lineup:
LF Lars Nootbaar
1B Paul Goldschmidt
2B Nolan Gorman
3B Nolan Arenado
C Willson Contreras
RF Jordan Walker
DH Brendan Donovan
CF Tommy Edman
SS Maysn Winn

1B/OF Alec Burleson
C Ivan Herrera
2B/OF Richie Palacios
One of 1B/DH Luken Baker/INF Thomas Saggese/INF Cesar Prieto/OF Victor Scott II

RHP Aaron Nola
RHP Sonny Gray
RHP Shane Bieber
LHP Steven Matz
RHP Miles Mikolas

RHP Ryan Helsley
LHP Yuki Matsui
RHP Giovanny Gallegos
LHP JoJo Romero
RHP Prelander Berroa
RHP Wilking Rodriguez
LHP Packy Naughton
LHP Zack Thompson

Sign me up for that offseason in a heartbeat. As always, it's hard to fully predict what will happen. Nola could love Philadelphia so much that no matter what contract the Cardinals offer him, he's resigning there, or someone could go crazy and give him a massive deal that just does not make sense to match. Maybe the Guardians hold onto Bieber and do not feel like moving him. All of this is subject to change, but it feels well within the Cardinals' grasp if they are aggressive this offseason.

This kind of offseason doesn't just put the Cardinals back in the division title race, it could propel them to be true contenders in the National League. The Atlanta Braves are still the favorites and I'm sure the Dodgers will go get Shohei Ohtani and some other crazy moves, but likes of the Diamondbacks and Phillies showed the last two years, they can be beaten if you put together a strong roster.

Spending close to $70 million is not a pipedream, it's doable with an increase in payroll, all the money coming off the books, and a few non-tenders or trades here or there, but the Cardinals could very well spend closer to $55 million. If so, that may just lessen the quality of one of the starters they get.

I think this is the kind of standard they should be held to this offseason. It doesn't mean the offseason is a failure if they end up with Gray, Glasnow, and Michael Wacha, but I think we should all desire for them to bring their A+ offseason to the table. Will it happen? Only time will tell. But for now, I'm willing to be optimistic about what the Cardinals can do.