Ranking the 5 starting pitchers the Cardinals could sign as Sonny Gray insurance

The Cardinals may need to add another starter here soon, so I ranked five options they could pursue.

Jun 27, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47)
Jun 27, 2023; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 5

The St. Louis Cardinals needed a second front-line starting pitcher all offseason, and now that hole is even more glaring after the Sonny Gray hamstring scare.

It was just announced today that Gray has a mild hamstring strain, and his status for Opening Day is now in question. It's unclear if this injury will linger into the season, but at the very least, it goes to show just how weak this rotation becomes when Gray is not a part of that mix. Without him, the Cardinals are left with some combination of Miles Mikolas, Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, Steven Matz, and one of Zack Thompson or Matthew Liberatore as their five-man group.

Aside from that alone being a major issue, even with Gray being healthy, we've talked at length about the need for a second front-line starter in this rotation if the Cardinals want to compete in October. While the current rotation with a healthy Gray should be good enough to get them back into the postseason mix, it won't be enough to win meaningful games in October.

If the Cardinals decide they need to add another starter to their mix before Opening Day, there are still plenty of options available. I decided to rank the five guys I think they may try to pursue, but instead of ranking them by likelihood, I ranked them by what the Cardinals actually need. I did decide to break them into three tiers though, as some of these pitchers they could pursue I don't actually believe would be the kind of pitcher they need.

Tier 3: The starters who feel like realistic signings but don't actually solve the problem.

#5 - Rich Hill

Honestly, this feels like a very Cardinals move, and not in a good kind of way. Rich Hill turns 44 years old on March 11th and is looking to play in his 20th big league season in 2024. While Hill experienced a career revival during his age 36-31 seasons, he's been back to being a number five starter at best the last two seasons.

In 2023, Hill appeared in 32 games (making 27 starts) while posting a 5.41 ERA in 146.1 innings of work. He was better with the Pirates to begin the year (4.76 ERA in 119 innings) but the wheels fell completely off with the Padres (8,23 ERA). While I could see the Cardinals making such a move, it would be a mistake.

St. Louis is hoping to bounce back this season and you can boost your bankroll for the ride with an instant bonus at BetMGM. You'll instantly get $150 in bonus bets if you sign up, deposit $10 or more and then bet $5 or more on any wager. Sign up with BetMGM with this Redbird Rants link today.