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St. Louis Cardinals reportedly pursuing top catcher on MLB free agent market

st. louis cardinals
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly looking to bolster their lineup and replace a franchise legend with an All-Star from a rival club.

The Cardinals had a strong showing in 2022, as the team finished 93-69 — their most wins since 2015 — and won the National League Central division. However, their impressive showing ended disappointingly in a two-game Wild Card sweep by the NL Pennant-winning Philadelphia Phillies.

Despite the disappointment of how things ended this past season, the team will still head into 2023 with new reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and All-Star Nolan Arenado. However, veterans and team legends Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina were key contributors this year and will be heading into the retirement sunset this offseason.

Also Read: MLB free agent tracker – Checking in on where Aaron Judge and others land

It means that the team will need to fill those holes to try and maintain the level of play they set in 2022. While the future Hall-of-Famer Molina will be difficult to replace, it seems that the team views a star from the Chicago Cubs as the perfect man to take up the mantle.

St. Louis Cardinals targeting All-Star Willson Contreras in MLB free agency

st. louis cardinals
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

This winter’s MLB free agent market is star-studded. Reigning American League MVP Aaron Judge is available, Mets great Jacob deGrom is up for grabs, as well as four All-Star shortstops. However, one position with few strong options is catcher.

However, on Thursday, New York Post MLB insider Jon Heyman reported that the St. Louis Cardinals are aggressively pursuing the top player at the position, Willson Contreras.

“The Cardinals are pursuing free-agent catcher Willson Contreras and look like a potential landing spot for the former Cub. While the Astros and others are linked to Contreras, St. Louis is among the teams at the forefront of talks. This would be a double blow to the Cubs, as St. Louis is their biggest rival.”

– Report on Cardinals interest in Contreras
  • Willson Contreras stats (2022): .243 AVG, .349 OBP, .466 SLG, 22 HR, 55 RBI

The Cubs are not expected to make a strong push to retain Willson after seven seasons and three All-Star appearances for Chicago. However, as Heyman mentioned, the Astros are another team that is in hot pursuit of the star catcher and are sure to increase the cost for the 30-year-old.

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