Cardinals' John Mozeliak held an impromptu press conference today to discuss the recent signings of starting pitchers Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson among other topics such as roster turnover with the recent non-tenders of Andrew Knizner, Juan Yepez, Dakota Hudson, and Jake Woodford. This press conference was not a replacement for the end-of-the-year conference that was postponed back in October.
Mozeliak started the press conference off strong by saying "There's a lot of offseason still to happen." While this statement may be true, it is tough to see the grand plan when the team is clearly in need of a #1 and #2 starter for a rotation that was abysmal in 2023.
Lynn and Gibson do provide more strikeout stuff and innings than last year's #4 and #5 of Adam Wainwright and Dakota Hudson, but neither of the newly-acquired pitchers provide top-of-the-rotation stuff that is necessary for a playoff-caliber team.
When asked if Mozeliak would consider adding a fourth starter to his "two-and-a-half or three" comments from earlier in the season, the President of Baseball Operations stated that he is still "thinking in terms of three based on how things are". He did not go on to specify if that pitcher would be acquired through free agency or trade, but he did discuss the Japanese phenom, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, at great length.
If the Cardinals intend on competing next year not only for the National League Central but also for the World Series, they must add a front-end starting pitcher. Sonny Gray headlining this rotation now by himself won't be enough. Miles Mikolas, Steven Matz, Kyle Gibson, and Lance Lynn being your numbers two through four pitchers will not cut it regardless of who the team signs as its ace.
It is possible Steven Matz moves to the bullpen, a place where he thrived last year, and John Mozeliak swindles a front-end signing and a trade, but he will have to get very creative financially with these moves.