These two St. Louis Cardinals’ offseason decisions will pay off in 2023 but this other one looks like it’s going to backfire.
For a team coming off a division title and employing National League MVP and third-place finisher, the St. Louis Cardinals had a relatively quiet offseason. It wasn’t bad. It was more about what they didn’t do than what they did.
The club has gotten better. To their credit, there are no major holes on the roster either. Paul Goldschmidt should be fantastic again. So should Nolan Arenado. With the assumption that the young guys improve as well, things are looking up for St. Louis.
Some of the decisions made this offseason are going to pay off big for the Cardinals while another looks like it could backfire quickly.
Cardinals offseason decision that will pay off: Stealing Willson Contreras from the Cubs
Willson Contreras may not be one of the best catchers in baseball for the duration of his contract. Nevertheless, he was a necessary player for the Cardinals to sign this offseason.
Yadier Molina’s retirement paved the way for the Cardinals to steal the longtime rival away from the Chicago Cubs. It was one of the most obvious moves any team this offseason needed to make. The Cardinals didn’t waste much time, agreeing to a deal in early December.
Contreras is about to embark on his age-31 season. He won’t be the same level of defensive player Molina was in his prime. Contreras will, instead, offer the Cardinals a bit more power and good balance.
There were only a few realistic options for the Cardinals behind the plate that wouldn’t have had them looking cheap. A trade for Sean Murphy would have been costly. Christian Vazquez doesn’t have quite the same allure as Contreras.
The Cardinals will be thankful they have Contreras on their roster this season and for the next few years. Equally as important, they don’t have to deal with him whenever they face the Cubs.