8. Trade with Miami
Like Seattle, the Miami Marlins just feel like a perfect trade partner with the Cardinals. Last offseason, the two sides talked about trades, but eventually, Pablo Lopez was dealt to the Twins for Luis Arraez, which tells me they wanted one of Nootbaar, Donovan, or Gorman from St. Louis.
The Marlins could use more punch in their lineup, but with the recent news that Sandy Alcantara will miss the 2024 season, I'm not sure the Marlins will be heavily shopping their arms now.
I definitely wouldn't rule it out, as even with Alcantara out next season, they still have Eury Perez, Jesus Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, Edward Cabrera, and Trevor Rogers to lean on, as well as more prospects coming up through the system. They could also look to bring in some low-cost veteran starters to supplement their rotation (like they did with Johnny Cueto this year) and use that pitching to get an impact bat.
I really like multiple arms on the Marlins staff. They are not trading Perez, but you could make a compelling argument for any of those arms to be a part of the Cardinals rotation next year. I think all of them slot best as their third-best starter next year, rather than one of their top two answers, but they'd fill that role well and have cost control left as well.
Like Seattle though, what is the price point going to be, and would it make sense for St. Louis? The amount of control they would be acquiring is going to race the asking price, but I would much rather them target a higher upside arm with only a few more years of control than pay a premium for a lesser starter with more control. They need top-end talent more than they need controllable arms.
If the asking price is right though, one the Miami arms would still be great get for St. Louis.