I have been giving John Mozeliak and the St. Louis Cardinals the benefit of the doubt for the last few months. Their dialogue was different, they were finally saying the right things, but in recent weeks, the conversation began to shift.
Now, after their worst season in decades, the Cardinals' first two additions to their re-tool are Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson.
That is not good enough.
Let me repeat.
That. Is. Not. Good. Enough.
Even if the Cardinals get Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tyer Glasnow, or Dylan Cease to lead this rotation, it's not good enough.
The Cardinals desperately needed two starters for the top of their rotation. Now that they've signed these two guys, it's hard to believe two more are coming. Sure, this rotation has innings now, but the Cardinals did not learn their listen of needing true difference makers in this rotation.
Gibson was 15-9 with a 4.73 in 33 starts for the Orioles in 2023, giving them 192 innings in the process. Lynn or Gibson in a vacuum would have been fine additions to the rotation as the number five starter, but now relying on both arms alongside Steven Matz and Miles Mikolas is just malpractice. Sure, that's a lot of innings, but they also need quality innings.
Now, I may look foolish here in a few months if they still turn around and grab two front-end guys. If they do that (some combination of Yamamoto, Glasnow, Snell, Gray, Cease, Gilbert, Rodriguez, Montgomery, etc.), then I'll take all of this back. They would've not only grabbed the two stop starters they needed badly, but they also would fix their back of the rotation problems they had in 2024. Sign me up for that.
But assuming they've now limited themselves to just one of the top guys on the market, this is a failure of an offseason. I'm not sure how the Cardinals' front office plans on selling the fanbase on Gray, Gibson, and Lynn being the solution to a 71-91 record, but I'll be right there to criticize them for it.
So now we wait. We wait and see if the Cardinals just accomplished the very bottom of their checklist first, or if this is the direction they are going in. Even as I am writing this, there's still a part of me that believes they will grab a Gray and Glasnow and make this feel a lot better. But for now, all we have to work off of is a rotation of Mikolas, Matz, Gibson, and Lynn, and even if they add one top guy, it's not good enough.
Mozeliak and company need to feel the pressure to add legit arms if they don't feel that already. I'm typically a glass-half guy when it comes to this Cardinals' club, but right now, it's hard to defend the moves they are making.