The last name on this list is the most recent name they decided to take a pass on. Now, it's hard to know how badly Carlos Rodon wanted to play in New York versus playing in other markets, but I think it's still pretty likely he would have come to St. Louis, had they made the best offer.
Toward the beginning of the off-season, I was pretty hesitant to go after Rodon at his price point. But it is just really hard to argue against just how good he has been the last two years, and how much of an upgrade he would have been to the Cardinals' rotation.
Since 2021, Rodon has gone 27-13 with a 2.67 ERA while averaging 155 innings and 211 SO a season. Rodon has been healthy the last two years, a workhorse, and strikeout machine, all things that the Cardinals really need from the top of their rotation.
Sure, it would have been a lot to pay for a starting pitcher, but that's just the cost of the market right now, and that will not be dropping any time soon. If the Cardinals want to have ace-level pitching beyond their initial club control, they'll have to hand out early extensions or pay up big time in free agency. The Cardinals missed out on Rodon this time, but they cannot afford to sit on the sidelines again comes to this next off-season.