Willson Contreras could doom Cardinals supposed starting rotation answer

The St. Louis Cardinals signed starting pitcher Lance Lynn, but catcher Willson Contreras may only highlight his past failure.

St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles
St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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The St. Louis Cardinals haven't exactly answered the team's most pressing need so far this offseason. After president of baseball operations John Mozeliak promised to sign multiple high-level starting pitchers just a few months ago, the Cards answered by inking Lance Lynn first and foremost. Kyle Gibson came next, which doesn't inspire much confidence, either.

Lynn allowed 44 home runs last season, which was the most in the major leagues. Gibson allowed 198 hits on the year, the most of any season in his career. Both veterans are on the wrong side of 35 years old, and neither represents the upgrade St. Louis baseball fans had in mind when the offseason began.

Mozeliak insists that more moves are to come, so Cardinals fans shouldn't give up just yet. However, the seven-figure deals given to both Lynn and Gibson means less money for a top-of-the-rotation starter, which neither of these players represents.

Willson Contreras is a weakness behind the plate, and Cardinals aren't helping

The Cards signed Willson Contreras to a long-term deal last offseason to replace Yadier Molina. Contreras is more than capable at the plate, but defensively he likely projects long term as a first baseman or designated hitter. His inability to manage the Cards pitching staff last season had him replaced early in the year.

Eventually, Contreras earned his way back behind home plate, but the St. Louis pitching staff was one of the worst in the majors. FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray agrees that Contreras working with these pitchers -- specifically Lynn and even Gibson -- could prove problematic.

”The fit with Lynn in St. Louis makes sense, but comes with one primary concern. Lynn is prone to allowing the long ball - he surrendered TK home runs last season - and the Cardinals’ catcher, Willson Contreras, is widely regarded as a below average game caller and pitch-framer behind the plate. It’s something to watch in the early part of the season, and something that could impact Lynn’s home runs allowed again in 2024," Murray said.

Lynn and Gibson were both ideal veterans for prove-it deals. Unfortunately, those rarely work out unless said organization has proven they can revive pitchers at this point in their careers. If anything, the Cardinals do the opposite, and Contreras won't help matters.

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