The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly closing in on replacing team icon Yadier Molina with the best catcher in MLB free agency.
Last season was a very productive year for the St. Louis Cardinals. They finished with a 93-69 record and won the National League Central. While they were bounced early from the postseason, they still enter 2023 with a lot to build off of.
Next year they will have reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado anchoring their lineup. However, they will also be without two key players from this season’s division-winning squad. Team legends and future Hall-of-Famers Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina have officially ended their runs in MLB and will begin their retirement.
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Despite their advanced age, both were important contributors in 2022 and will not be easily replaced. However, it seems the St. Louis Cardinals pursuit to fill the void left by Molina may be near an end, and it could include the best at the position on the MLB free agent market.
St. Louis Cardinals closing in on Willson Contreras in MLB free agency
While there are many good free agents available in the starting pitcher and shortstop markets, catcher only has one elite-level player available. Chicago Cubs star Willson Contreras. A couple of weeks ago it was rumored that the Cardinals would pursue the 30-year-old in free agency, and it seems like they are now one of the favorites to acquire his services.
- Willson Contreras stats (2022): .243 AVG, .349 OBP, .466 SLG, 22 HR, 55 RBI, 65 R
According to a Thursday report from New York Post MLB insider Jon Heyman, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Houston Astros are the “most likely landing spots” spots for Willson Contreras in MLB free agency.
Replacing a generational talent like Molina is a tough task, but there really is no better option available, without giving up worthwhile prospects in a trade, than the three-time All-Star and one-time World Series champion.