#2 - The Cardinals should have no reason to part with the talent necessary to get an ace with Jordan Walker's emergence
Although it would have been nice for the Cardinals to enter camp with a new front-line pitcher, I get the team being a bit hesitant to trade away their young talent before the 2023 season. If they had traded away guys who would go on to mash and then kept players who got injured or underperformed, their lineup would have gone from a strength to a problem.
If Walker is going to be great in 2023, then they don't really have to worry about that anymore. They can afford to part with multiple players from their young core, still have plenty of depth, and be set up for the future in a big way.
Two of Yepez, Burleson or Gorman will have to start the year in Triple-A assuming Walker makes the Opening Day roster. One of Carlson or O'Neill likely becomes a part-time player. Winn, Gomez, and names like Luken Baker and Mike Antico are also waiting in Memphis. The Cardinals don't have to make a trade, but they will be in the driver's seat for any player that becomes available.
One the Cardinals go out and grab that ace, whoever it is, they then have the pitching to matchup with other elite rotations, and a lineup that will be favored against every other order in the league. Could it get any better than that? Well actually, yes. With more young talent on the way, especially in the pitching department, this team could get even deeper in the next few months.