Far too often in the 2023 season, the St. Louis Cardinals would be looking at a muti-run deficit before the end of the first inning. Pitching could easily be pointed to as the reason the Cardinals went from a postseason contender in 2022 to one of the worst teams in the league in 2023. The offense is still solid and the pieces to build around are clearly there.
Losing Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina hurt the team in 2023. However, the problems for the Cardinals are far deeper than simply the loss of veteran production and leadership. This offseason, the Cardinals should be expected to be very active both in free agency and the trade markets.
This leaves it as no surprise when the St. Louis Cardinals have been tied to one of the biggest names in free agency when it comes to starting pitching
Nola is a clear fit for a Cardinals rotation that needs at least two to three high-impact additions to consider themselves capable of returning to contention. In an improving division, another disappointing year likely results in a long rebuild for a proud franchise with a history of winning.
Nola isn't going to miss a lot of bats. However, the veteran is going to eat innings and keep his team close. Not only has Nola proven durable, but he has been a postseason performer each of the last two seasons when the Phillies knocked out the postseason favorite Atlanta Braves.
Stealing from one of the top teams in the National League and improving the rotation all in one move clearly is beneficial for the Cardinals and puts them on the right path. For Nola, however, considering the talent in Atlanta if both teams make an offer, the Cardinals will have to figure out a way to win that bidding war.
Nola is far from the only option for St. Louis to improve the top of the rotation, but he is clearly the best fit for the franchise.