Texas Rangers: Brock Burke, LHP
The newly christened World Series champion Texas Rangers will have three starting pitchers enter free agency this offseason, leaving the Rangers and the Cardinals with similar needs. Texas' bullpen should be more settled, and one player they might be willing to part ways with is reliever Brock Burke.
Burke showed himself to be a control artist in 2023, walking only nine batters in 59.2 innings, but his 4.90 FIP could use some fine-tuning. Burke achieves phenomenal extension on his pitches, at 7.1 feet. He also greatly improved the chase rate on his pitches in 2023, rocketing up from the 26th to the 69th percentile in that category.
With Burke about to enter his first year of arbitration, the Rangers might decide that he's not worth keeping around. The Cardinals have a strong southpaw in their pen already in JoJo Romero, but it never hurts to have more options on the table in case of injuries or ineffectiveness.
Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Berrios, RHP
Jose Berrios was a solid weapon in the Toronto Blue Jays rotation in 2023, owning a 3.65 ERA and 1.186 WHIP in 189.2 innings. But with the Blue Jays looking for an outfielder after Daulton Varsho's struggles and Kevin Kiermaier's likely departure in free agency, the Cardinals could have the antidote if Toronto is willing to part with a high-end starter like Berrios.
Berrios rebounded well after a shaky 2022, where he led the American League in hits allowed and earned runs allowed. In 2023, he significantly reduced opponents' hard-hit rate and average exit velocity while maintaining his strong walk and chase rates. While Berrios doesn't quite have ace-level stuff for most teams, he would provide an immense upgrade for the Cardinals if they were to deal for him.
A player such as Lars Nootbaar has to be on the table given the Blue Jays' outfield situation. Berrios also has three years guaranteed on his contract before a 2027 opt-out clause, so how that would shake out would be integral in deciding how much value the Cardinals give up in a prospective trade.