2023 will mark the first season since 2004 that the Cards have begun without Molina behind the plate on Opening Day.
And thus begins the teams search for a new backstop.
While Andrew Knizner had moments of brilliance during the 2022 season, the Cardinals believe that it was not enough for him to lock down the spot for 2023.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has stated that finding a catcher is the team’s top priority.
Mozeliak also stressed that while the Cardinals value great defense, something Molina was able to provide on a daily basis, they want to find the best all all-around catcher to fill the void left by Molina’s departure.
One note from convos today: While the Cardinals still value defense from their catcher, Mozeliak expressed a want to pursue "the best" all-around backstop. It's up to the FO to figure out what that looks like in terms of combining offensive production and defensive stability. https://t.co/dJk7mUaZgU
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) November 9, 2022
Cards Want “Best” Available Catcher
Of course, there is no “replacing” Molina.
But the Cardinals want to make sure they find the best possible catcher to fill the void.
Willson Contreras appears unlikely for St. Louis.
Jansen and Murphy would have to be acquired via trade.
Of the three options, Jansen might be the most likely target for the Cards.
Jansen hit .260 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 2022.
The popular consensus is that the Cardinals would not have to gut their farm system in order to make a play for Jansen.
St. Louis could also potentially throw top catching prospect Ivan Herrera into the trade package.