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Cardinals Could Try To Sign Frontline Starter Reportedly Entering Free Agency

St. Louis could use the international ace

The St. Louis Cardinals are preparing to retool their starting rotation this winter after the pitching staff held back what was an otherwise successful roster. 

St. Louis will look to add at least three new starters and will have to exhaust all options to find the right additions. Given the Cardinals' financial restraints, it's unlikely that they acquire all three via high-end free-agent contracts. 

To find value, St. Louis likely will either have to find a bargain starter in free agency or explore the trade market to pair with a big signing or two. The former just became a little more realistic with the latest reported addition to the free-agent pitching pool.

"News from Japan: Right-handed pitcher Naoyuki Uwasawa of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters announced today his plans to move to Major League Baseball for the 2024 season via the posting process," MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Saturday.

Uwasawa posted a 2.96 ERA with a 124-to-41 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.14 WHIP in 170 innings across 24 starts this season. The 29-year-old has a career 3.19 ERA over nine seasons and appears to be one of the more consistent pitchers in the Nippon Professional Baseball League. 

The right-hander does not come without some concerns, as many do not know whether his low-90s fastball will play at the MLB level. 

Uwasawa likely will be on the Cardinals' radar this winter but certainly will not be atop their wish list.

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