The St. Louis Cardinals are just days away from beginning one of the most important offseasons in franchise history.
While that seems like a jarring statement, it's true. How they decide to go about their business this offseason will have major ramifications on their ability to win in the near term and long term, and how the John Mozeliak era will be remembered in St. Louis. They have to come up big this offseason, and so far both their public comments and reporting about internal conversations seem to indicate they know this.
The Cardinals' offseason to-do list seems to be finalized now, as Katie Woo of The Athletic reported that they are looking to add three starting pitchers and two high-leverage bullpen arms. If that is the case, I think it's fair to breakdown their five agenda items like this:
To-do list items
1. Top-of-the-rotation starter
2. Second front-line starter
3. A third starter who is better than Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz
4. High-leverage reliever via free agency
5. High-leverage reliever via trade
This should be what their list looks like, and it's beginning to appear that way. If the Cardinals are going to be a legitimate threat in the National League again, they must achieve both quality and quantity this offseason. A tall task for sure, but one they must rise to.
I think we can all agree this is a good game plan, but who exactly could fill each of those items? Let's take a look at players that the Cardinals should target in each category to have a successful offseason.