#4 - Logan Gilbert (Seattle Mariners)
The Cardinals have been linked to Logan Gilbert since the beginning of the summer, and we all understand why. Gilbert is a young workhorse with a ton of upside, doesn't reach arbitration until next season, and is under team control through 2028.
Gilbert posted a 3.73 ERA in 190.2 innings for the Mariners this year with an 8.9 SO/9 and 1.08 WHIP. While he's more like a number three starter right now, it won't be long before he's pitching like a number two or even a number one starter for a staff. Getting Gilbert for 2024 and the following three seasons would be a huge win for the Cardinals' organization.
Here's the problem, you're not getting a deal done without giving up one of Nolan Gorman or Lars Nootbaar, and you may need to include Brendan Donovan with one of those guys as well. The cost to acquire Gilbert is great, and rightfully so.
While the long-term status of the Cardinals' pitching is not exactly compelling, names like Tink Hence, Tekoah Roby, and Cooper Hjerpe offer the kinds of upside the Cardinals' have lacked from their internal options in recent years. As much as it would be nice to have Gilbert be one of those sure things for them, they really need one or two of those guys to pop in the coming years.
The Cardinals' primary focus right now needs to be on the 2024 rotation, and improving it without major subtractions from the club's lineup. Acquiring Gilbert would require parting with one of their best young bats, and I don't think that's where the Cardinals should be heading.
Maybe the Mariners asking price changes and they are willing to acquire more prospects in a deal. They are rich with starting pitching options outside of Gilbert (George Kirby, Luis Castillo, Bryan Woo, Bryce Miller, Robbie Ray, Marco Gonzales, Emerson Hancock, etc.), but I'm sure they want an immediate offensive upgrade if they are going to explore dealing Gilbert. The Cardinals can meet the asking price, I'm just not sure that's the best idea for the immediate or long-term future of the club.