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
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Tier 2: Still doesn't solve the problem but could make for an upgrade over Lynn/Gibson

#4 - Jake Odorizzi

If the Cardinals do decide to add another arm to the rotation, the player that seems the most likely to me would be right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

Odorizzi is someone the Cardinals have had interest in for a number of years now, dating all the way back to when he was a free agent during the 2020-2021 offseason. They also discussed trading for Odorizzi at the 2022 trade deadline but ended up making deals for Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana instead.

Originally from Breese, Illinois (under an hour away from St. Louis), Odorizzi has a career 3.99 ERA in 241 games but did not throw during the 2023 season after undergoing shoulder surgery last April while with the Texas Rangers. Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019 with the Minnesota Twins and posted a 4.40 ERA during the 2022 season. He was really solid with the Astors before being traded to the Braves, posting a 3.75 ERA during the first half of the season.

Odorizzi, when healthy, has proven to be a starter who would be an upgrade over the production that Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson may provide in 2024. While he's not going to eat a ton of innings, he would provide a better output in the innings he does throw.\

The goal here is not just to have incremental improvement to the back-end of the rotation though, it's to provide insurance for the rotation if Gray misses time, and to have a second guy capable of starting a postseason game in they make it to October. Odorizzi is a fine pitcher, but he would not fit the bill of what St. Louis really needs.