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?

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox
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8. Griffin Canning

A second-round pick during the 2017 MLB draft, Griffin Canning has been a solid Major League starter to begin his career and is coming off perhaps his most intriguing season yet.

His numbers will not jump off the page to anyone, going 7-8 with a 4.32 ERA in 127 innings of work for the Angels. Most of the media's attention was on the train wreck that the Angels were in the second half, but Canning actually came into his own in his final 53 innings of work.

His ERA dropped to 3.91 in the second half and saw a major uptick in strikeouts (69 SO in just 53 innings of work). This plays favorably with his advanced numbers, as he posted a 3.82 xFIP on the season as a whole.

Canning had a career-low walk rate (2.55 BB/9) while posting career highs in K/9 (9.85) and GB% (42.7%). At 27 years old, Canning still has the potential to lean in further on the things that are making him more successful on the mound and continue to become a quality pitcher in the Major Leagues.

I would argue Canning has a lower ceiling than Miller but is in the same mold when it comes to expectations for 2024. Become a strong back end of the rotation starter to really help stabilize this unit. With only two years of control, the cost to acquire Canning should be much lower than most guys on this list, with a swap of someone like Dylan Carlson, Tyler O'Neill, or Alec Burleson probably getting the deal done.

Again, it's not a flashy move, but if St. Louis spends big on the top of the rotation, Canning could help them fill out the rest while not giving up any significant assets.