It was an awful 2023 season for the Cardinals. Coming into the season, St. Louis was the favorite to win the National League Central, and if they made a move or two during the regular season, many thought they could be a threat in October as well. Instead, they finished the season 71-91, last place in the National League Central, and tired for the fifth-worst record in all of baseball.
The 2024 Draft Lottery odds are now official, and the Cardinals have the fifth-best odds at the number one pick, with an 8.3% chance of landing the selection. The Athletics, Royals, and Rockies are tied with the best odds at 18.3%, and the White Sox are just ahead of the Cardinals with a 14.7% chance at the number one overall pick. One interesting thing to note is that although the Nationals are tied with the Cardinals in terms of their record, the new CBA does not allow clubs that give revenue back in the revenue-sharing agreement to be eligible for the number one pick in consecutive years.
We have already previewed some of the players the Cardinals should be looking to target in this draft, especially with it seeming to be a rich top-end of the draft class when it comes to pitching talent. The Cardinals are typically selecting in the backend of the MLB Draft each year, so they'll have a unique opportunity this coming summer to select a premier talent that will likely be one of their top prospects and one of the top 50 prospects in baseball. With the way Randy Flores has led drafts in recent years, that's an exciting thought.
Although this will not impact their first-round pick, one thing to watch this offseason will be whether or not the Cardinals decide to sign any starting pitchers with a qualifying offer attached. Starting pitchers like Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, Blake Snell, and Eduardo Rodriguez will likely have that qualifying offer attached to them, meaning the Cardinals would lose their second-round pick if they signed one of them, and their third-round pick as well if they signed two of those names.
While the Cardinals have the potential to have their pick move higher or lower at the top of the draft, after the first round, the lottery does not impact the positioning of draft picks, so the Cardinals will have the fifth overall pick in every other round, regardless of where their first-round pick ends up.
Stay tuned for more Cardinals' draft coverage throughout the year and news and rumors as the offseason begins here in the next week for St. Louis.