They can no longer afford to sign guys to cheap bargain deals and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. Baseball doesn't work that way anymore. The Cardinals don't have any devil magic or miracles left in the tank.
This means it's going to take bold action. The Cardinals have to add at least two top-level starters and three starters in total in order to contend again.
With that being said, here are three free agents that it would be a mistake to sign.
1. Lance Lynn
Lance Lynn was once a fan favorite during his time with the Cardinals. He was a key piece of their bullpen when they won the World Series in 2011 and even helped guide them back to the World Series as a starter in 2013.
Not too long ago, he was the ace of the White Sox. But times have changed.
Lynn, 36, had a dreadful season with the White Sox and Dodgers. Though he slightly improved upon arriving in Los Angeles, he still had a 5.73 ERA during the regular season. He also surrendered four home runs in Game 3 of the NLDS as the Dodgers were eliminated by the Diamondbacks.
Bringing back Lynn would only be for sentimental value, and the Cardinals can't fall into that trap again.