It already appears as though the Cardinals have begun to zero in on their top offseason target.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY, St. Louis will "strongly pursue" Sonny Gray this winter.
Gray posted a 2.79 ERA this past season with the Twins and guided them to the postseason for the first time since 2020. The Twins eliminated the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card Series thanks to Gray's dominant outing in Game 2.
The veteran right-hander is set to turn 34 this offseason, and that may prevent him from receiving a long-term deal. However, he'll still be highly sought after this winter.
Gray formerly pitched with the Cincinnati Reds, so he is familiar with the NL Central and Busch Stadium. His ERA this year was the second-best in the American League and should garner him some consideration for the Cy Young Award.
He also is a strikeout machine, having averaged nine per game this season. This is what St. Louis needs in their rotation in order to have a chance to attain postseason success for the first time since their run to the NLCS in 2019.
Gray would certainly qualify as the team's ace if signed.