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Cubs’ division rival revamps starting rotation amid aggressive offseason

3 months agoTony Andracki

To say the Cardinals had a disappointing 2023 season is an understatement.

They entered the year predicted by many to win the division. Not only did they end a streak of 15 straight winning seasons but they racked up 90 losses and finished in last place for the first time since 1990.

The main issue with the Cubs’ division rival was the pitching, as St. Louis ranked 24th in MLB with a 4.83 ERA.

It was even worse with the starting staff as the Cardinals’ 5.08 rotation ERA was 26th in baseball (the Cubs ranked 14th with a 4.26 ERA, for comparison).

To address the problem, the Cardinals have been extremely aggressive this offseason. Even before the calendar flipped to December, the St. Louis brass has gone out and added three new starting pitchers to throw to catcher Willson Contreras.

The latest rumored signing is the biggest — the Cardinals reportedly signed right-hander Sonny Gray to a 3-year, $75 million deal. The 34-year-old Gray finished 2nd in AL Cy Young voting last year with the Twins, going 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 184 innings.

Previously this fall, the Cardinals reached agreements with 36-year-old righties Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn. That trio will join Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz in the projected 2024 St. Louis rotation.

Whether that will be enough to help the Cardinals climb out of the NL Central cellar and into a position of contending remains to be seen.

At the very least, the Cardinals should be a better team in 2024 as the pitching improvements coupled with the franchise’s rich history of winning means the Cubs will have more competition for the division next season.

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