1. Sign Nathan Eovaldi
In the end, it was smart to pass on Jacob deGrom and Carlos Rodon, as they both dealt with injury-plagued seasons. Justin Verlander would have been a good fit, but there was another option available that could have really helped the Cardinals.
Nathan Eovaldi was signed by the Rangers to a two-year, $34 million deal, and he certainly didn't disappoint in his first year in Texas. He was limited to 25 starts this year due to a forearm strain, but his stats were still quite impressive. He won 12 games and posted a 3.63 ERA.
Eovaldi also has great postseason experience, which was on display in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Orioles when he pitched seven innings and struck out seven batters while allowing just one run. Eovaldi is the kind of pitcher that could have really transformed this rotation.
While he isn't necessarily an ace, he was affordable, and he's someone that a team can trust in a big game with the season on the line. Instead, the Cardinals passed and let Eovaldi sign in Texas. Eovaldi and The Rangers are now headed to the ALCS for the first time since 2011. Two years and $34 million was well within the Cardinals' so-called "price range."