Everyone knows that the St. Louis Cardinals are searching for a new everyday catcher this offseason following the retirement of legendary backstop Yadier Molina. While it remains to be seen which direction the Cardinals take in terms of their pursuit of a catcher, it may not be long until the dust settles on St. Louis’ most pressing need.
While they are yet to make a formal offer for Willson Contreras, the Cardinals are thought of to make the most headway with their pursuit of the 30-year old catcher. Per Derrick Goold of St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have met at least twice with the Venezuelan catcher’s representatives across the first two days of the winter meetings. Moreover, manager Carlos Marmol and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak already met with Contreras and his representatives last week in Orlando.
Nevertheless, nothing is set in stone, even though one unnamed source noted that the Cardinals have made the “most progress” with Willson Contreras. Still, the Cardinals are keeping their options open.
According to Goold, St. Louis is still heavily involved in the trade market for Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, as well as for Toronto Blue Jays backstop Danny Jansen. If all else fails, the Cardinals are also looking at Christian Vazquez as a potential replacement for Yadier Molina,
St. Louis will definitely prioritize filling in arguably the most important defensive position in the diamond, as this will heavily influence their other roster moves. Despite some earlier rumblings that the Cardinals are prioritizing a defense-first backstop, John Mozeliak noted that the team is open to acquiring a catcher regardless of his strengths.
“We’re not wedded to staying it’s got to just be defense-first. We’re not. That doesn’t mean we’re going to end up having to be more offensive-minded. We’re certainly looking at exploring all of those types of options. We do see this as an opportunity to help our offense,” Mozeliak said.
The dominos are slowly starting to fall in free agency, especially after Aaron Judge and, to a lesser extent, Trea Turner’s megadeals were announced, so Cardinals fans should stay tuned for what should be an eventful next few days.