Tom Ackerman of KMOX had the St. Louis Cardinals' President of Baseball Operations on his show, Sports on a Sunday Morning, this past weekend (listen here). The two discussed the recent bullpen addition of Keynan Middleton, the roster being set, and starting pitching additions.
Ackerman said that Mozeliak is always hunting for a good deal on the trade or free agent market, but he did ask pointedly if Mozeliak was finished adding to the starting rotation this offseason, even if something "came to fruition". Mo's response may evoke some negative memories for some fans.
"Well right now I don't think we'll be in the starting pitching market given that we have five starters, and they're all reasonably compensated. So I doubt we would do something there unless something came up that we thought we had to do."- John Mozeliak
It's possible that Mozeliak said this in a tongue in cheek manner given his friendship with Tom Ackerman, but he sounded serious when speaking, and he has been consistent in saying the rotation is likely set.
This quote may give us all flashbacks to last offseason when Mozeliak said confidently that the team had six starting pitchers in December of 2022. On the surface, the team does have five true, veteran starting pitchers in Sonny Gray, Miles Mikolas, Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, and Steven Matz. They also have plenty of depth in the minor leagues with Matthew Liberatore, Zach Thompson, Sem Robberse, Drew Rom, Gordon Graceffo, Michael McGreevy, and possibly Tink Hence or Tekoah Roby ready to go when needed.
The depth is much stronger in this year's rotation, and the projected bulk innings by Gray, Mikolas, Lynn, and Gibson is much greater than what Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, and Jake Woodford. Despite more confidence in the starters' abilities to go deeper into games, one more high-end starting pitcher would really set this team apart.
Trades are available with the Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Miami Marlins, and Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell are still available for just cash on the open market. While the Cardinals do have five true starting pitchers for next year, one more strong starting pitcher wouldn't hurt the team's chances at winning playoff games in 2024.