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The Cardinals are addressing pitching or are they?

Dizzy Dean Statue via my 7th inning stretch

John Mozelak the President of Baseball Operations for the St Louis Cardinals said before the off-season that the St Louis Cardinals would be in the Market for three starters. As of Monday before the winter meetings, he has officially signed THREE Free Agent starters. Former Cardinal Lance Lynn, Baltimore Orioles starter Kyle Gibson, and Minnesota Twins pitcher Sonny Gray.

Let's look at these signings and see if they move the needle in terms of Cardinal pitching.

Lance Lynn via AP

Lynn 36(37 in May) a one-year deal worth 11 million dollars with a a club option for 2025.

On the surface, a guy that goes 13-11 with a 5.73 ERA and serves up 44 HRs you would think this is a low-hanging fruit type of move. But after being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers he went 7-2 with a 4.36 ERA he did give up 16 Home Runs in 11 games with LA, and his Strikeouts per nine, were down from 10.8 with the White Sox to 6.6 With the Dodgers. let's be real here it is not like we are talking about Lynn being the number-one starter. this was a back-end of the rotation move. If Lynn can still eat innings, he was averaging almost 6 innings per game with LA last season, and he can find a way to reduce the 44 Home Runs from last year (which I do think is an outlier), then I think he can help shore up the back end 4/5 spot in the rotation.

Kyle Gibson by David Berding via Getty Images

Gibson 36 1 one-year deal worth $12 million with a club option for 2025.

He was 15-9 with a 4.73 ERA with Baltimore. Never been known as a Swing-and-miss pitcher, but many times will get into and past the 6 inning. Averaging over 5 and 2/3 innings per start for his 11-year he has pitched 180 or more 4 times 3 times over 190. His career ERA is 4.54, but he is still a very effective pitcher. His 50% ground ball rate should work well in St Louis with it's traditionally good infield defense. As to where he fits in this rebuilt rotation I think he currently fits in the 3 spot and that could change come Spring training.

Sonny Gray by Abbie Parr via AP

The one name I thought they would be able to get and they did was Gray 33 he was 8-8 with 16 no-decisions last year with the Minnesota Twins. he put up a 2.79 ERA in 184 innings. He was the runner-up for the AL Cy Young. He averaged 9 strikeouts per 9 innings and a 3.3 Strikeout to walk rate which IS what the Cardinals were looking for. He should fit nicely at the top of the rotation He gets a 3-year deal worth 75 Million dollars. The contract is backloaded, He will get $10 Million in 2024, 25 million in 2025, and $35 million in 2026 with a 30 million dollar club option for 2027. Some question whether he is a true #1. While you wouldn't put him ahead of a Snell or Yamamoto I think he is definitely in the next tier down and works as your number 1 starter.


So, Mozeliak did what he said he was going to do. He got three new starters. He brought in swing-and-miss type pitchers and guys who can eat innings getting you deep into the 6th or even the 7th before the bullpen comes into play. This rotation is better than last year in that respect. However, there is still a real concern about depth when you realize that supporting this rotation you still have question marks about Zach Thompson, Matthew Liberatore, Gordon Gracefo, Drew Rom Tekoah Roby, and Micheal McGreevy. A very large group of unproven arms at the major league level.

The Cardinals Did make a selection in the Rule Five draft. taking Ryan Fernandez from the Boston Red Sox. In 5 years of Minor League ball is 17-10 with a 3.33 ERA, 252 Strikeouts in 216 innings, giving him 10.5 Ks per 9, and a 4.2 Ks/BBs, a 1.190 WHIP. Currently in AAA and should get his shot in Spring Training.


John Mozeliak by Dillip Vishwanant via Getty Images

At the beginning of the Winter meetings this week Mozelaik stated, "We did not think we were going to be able to acquire what we were looking for via trade, at least where we didn’t feel like we were going to give up something that we were comfortable with, and so now that we do have some starting pitching we are going to be looking at things for our bullpen and be open-minded because there could be something that we haven’t thought about."

This would seem to indicate that they are not actively looking for more starting pitching but could be open IF something were to pop up. However, this Winter Meeting period had a true lack of significant deals by anyone.

other than the San Diego Padres trading Juan Soto to the NY Yankees, the Diamondbacks signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a 4-year $80 MIllion deal. But many of the big names; Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger, are still out there, as are Jordan Montgomery, Josh Hader, Rys Hoskins, and Matt Chapman.

Then you also have the Japanese pitchers Yoshinbobu Yamamoto, Shota Imanag, Yuki Mastsui, Masahiro Tanaka, and Korean CFJung Hoo Lee.

There is also the option of trades for pitchers like Dylan Cease, Tyler Glasnow, and Shane Bieber. The Cardinals could still trade for one of these players but not without giving up some young talent.

Tyler O'Neill by Joe Puetz via USA Today

One day after the winter meetings, the Cardinals DID make a trade sending Tyler O'Neill to the Boston Red Sox and acquiring RHP Nick Robertson and RH pitching prospect Victor Santos. Robertson pitched with the Dodgers and Red Sox for a total of 18 games compiling a record of 0-1 with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.746 WHIP He did strike out 28 batters in 22 innings. Mozeliak has hopes of him helping the bullpen. Mozeliak said that Santos will give the Cardinals some minor league depth.

I can't believe the Cardinals are done for the off-season But if history has shown us anything it is After a big move there usually is not much more to see from the Cardinal front office. hopefully, I am wrong.

Thanks for reading if you have comments or questions you can contact me at or on Titter/X @tsotbgcs.

Don't forget to check out my podcast talking Sports on the Bleachers found on most of the popular formats like Spotify, Google podcasts, and Apple podcasts.

So long for now!

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