With the World Series near its end, the work is about to begin for the St. Louis Cardinals after a dreadful 71-91 season, their first losing season since 2007.
What ultimately sunk the 11-time World Series champions was their lack of pitching, and in order to bounce back into contention in 2024, they will need to explore all possible avenues to acquire the pitching they need.
To state the obvious, St. Louis needs at least three starters, two of which must be frontline starters.
They'll need to add via free agency and trades, but they'll need to pay a hefty price.
Here are three Cardinals who could be traded, and one who could surprisingly stay.
Alec Burleson should earn Cardinals some trade interest
In addition to acquiring pitchers, the Cardinals have other areas that they must address.
One such area is the logjam in the outfield. Alec Burleson showed plenty of promise this season at the plate. He hit just .244 with a .691 OPS over 315 at-bats, but knocked 29 extra-base hits and showed a stronger strikeout rate in comparison to limited plate appearances in 2022.
He alone will not get the Cardinals the type of pitching they need, but if he could be packaged in a deal with somebody like Nolan Gorman or Brendan Donovan, the Cardinals might be able to acquire a frontline pitcher such as Shane Bieber or Dylan Cease for the top of their rotation.