Ranking the 10 starting pitchers that the Cardinals should explore trading for

The Cardinals will likely swing a trade for one of their rotation upgrades this offseason. Which arms should they prioritize the most?

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9. Bryce Miller

Another pitcher from Seattle, Bryce Miller had a productive rookie season in 2023, posting an 8-7 record with a 4.32 ERA in 25 starts. There is a lot to like when it comes to Miller, and the team control is super appealing long-term as well.

Miller does strike out a ton of guys (8.2 SO/9) but has room to grow in that area over time. Miller likely slots in as the Cardinals' number four or five starter next year, but does so by making less than $1 million in 2024 and giving them dependable starts throughout the year.

Miller would fill a need this year, but they would also be paying for his team control and long-term impact on the club. His low salary helps them focus their budget on top-end pitching and gives them another stable option beyond 2024 as well.

It's really unclear whether or not the Mariners will actually look to trade from their wealth of pitching for offense this winter, but if they do, Miller could take a package headlined by Tommy Edman or Alec Burleson, some combination of Dylan Carlson and Tyler O'Neill, or some other package that does not include Gorman, Donovan, or Nootbaar.

Miller isn't a flashy trade target, and there are a few others on this list who share that sentiment. The Cardinals have to acquire at least two starters this offseason who would be much better than what you would expect Miller to provide them, but Miller is an intriguing candidate to be that third kind of starter they acquire. He has the potential to, as soon as 2024, be a solid number three starter in a quality rotation, and would have long-term upside as well. His floor is back of the rotation, but doing so on the cheap.

I actually don't mind if the Cardinals prioritize some team control with that third starter, as they could always use the trade deadline to find that third "playoff rotation caliber" arm. They cannot go into the offseason with major questions at the top of the rotation, but letting guys like Miller, Miles Mikolas, Steven Matz, and Zack Thompson battle it out for those final three spots during the first half of the season would be okay if the top of the rotation is set.