With the World Series officially complete, we can finally put the 2023 season behind us and focus on the offseason.
It’s going to be a big one for the Cardinals, who are hoping that this past season was just a blip on the radar screen.
We know what it’s going to take. As John Mozeliak put it, “pitching pitching pitching.”
I wrote a piece a few weeks ago discussing whether Sonny Gray or Aaron Nola made sense for the Cardinals. In that piece, I said that Gray would make the most sense. That is an opinion I still hold.
But what is it going to take for the Cardinals to actually sign him?
According to Tim Britton of The Athletic, it may not take too much.
How the Cardinals can land Gray
Obviously, Gray is going to be expensive, as he is a frontline starter with ace potential. If signed, he would immediately be the team’s ace. But given his age, people are predicting that he may not get more than a three to four-year deal.
In his article, Britton predicted that Gray would receive a three-year, $72 million deal. Katie Woo, who covers the Cardinals for The Athletic, gave the Cards a 70 percent chance to get it done. But how likely is it really.
I think Woo and Britton are obviously very reliable sources, so we have good reason to believe them when they say the Cardinals have a decent chance at getting Gray.
In my opinion, three years and $72 million is right in the Cardinals wheelhouse. Gray is 34, so that is one factor that the team must consider. But that type of contract would be right in the Cardinals price range. It would essentially be a perfect Cardinals-type deal without completely breaking the bank.
Sadly, it seems that the idea of signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto is just a pipe dream, and Aaron Nola seems to want to stay in Philadelphia. But the Cardinals still have options. Blake Snell is available, as is Jordan Montgomery. Michael Wacha may also opt out of his deal with the Padres. Even Lucas Giolito could be had.
Gray could be the big fish that the Cardinals catch in free agency while they add somebody like Montgomery or Wacha along with him and make a trade to land somebody like Shane Bieber or Dylan Cease.
Gray is the pitcher in free agency that I would prioritize if I were Mo, and many seem to agree that he makes perfect sense for the Cardinals.