The offseason just began for the St. Louis Cardinals, but each day features a new rumor that fans dive into. MLB winters are a long and grueling adventure where fans have their minds racing with all this free time. The Alejandro Kirk to St. Louis rumors are heating up more than ever.
Many teams are targeting the catchers of the Toronto Blue Jays. With three quality catchers, it is no surprise they are on the block. All eyes lead to the Cardinals acquiring one of them after Yadier Molina hung up the cleats. Is this the best option for the Cardinals?
Teoscar Hernandez Trade
Baseball is a lot like chess; every move has a purpose, and every front office is looking for its next move. The Toronto Blue Jays traded away Teoscar Hernandez, and St. Louis Cardinals fans’ eyes lit up almost immediately.
The outfielder was traded to the Seattle Mariners for reliever Erik Swamson and a pitching prospect, Adam Macko. It is looking like the Blue Jays need a new outfielder and the Cardinals have a guy or two they’d be willing to ship to Canada.
Toronto is looking for more pitching or a reliable, everyday outfielder. It’s unlikely the Cardinals would be willing to send pitching to Toronto, but a lot of signs have pointed to Lars Nootbaar or Dylan Carlson wearing blue in 2023.
Now Alejandro Kirk is the best catcher on the roster, but Danny Jensen and Gabriel Moreno are also on the block. Alejandro Kirk would be the most expensive piece, coming off an All-Star season where he was also a Silver Silver. The catcher had a .285 batting average and a .787 OPS with 14 home runs and 63 RBI. Kirk played in 139 games for the Blue Jays in 2022.
St. Louis is looking for an everyday catcher, but Alejandro Kirk spends a lot of his time as the designated hitter. Having Andrew Knizner start over a third of the season at catcher does not seem ideal.
Jansen played in just 72 games last year but had more home runs than Alejandro Kirk. He also had a better OPS at .855.
Realistically, any of these three prospects would be exciting to have in St. Louis, but Alejandro Kirk or Jansen would be the most likely to be traded. Moreno is just 22 years old and looks to be the future of the Blue Jays franchise.
Best Option For St. Louis
If you have read any of my previous work, I do not want to trade for a catcher. I am not the GM–on this website I am, which is almost the equivalent–but man, can we just get Willson Contreras?
I love Lars Nootbaar, and his postseason production on both sides of the ball should cement his spot in a St. Louis Cardinals jersey next year. I am indifferent when it comes to Dylan Carlson, but I am afraid the price tag for these Toronto catchers will be too high.
Ultimately, if we can snag one of these guys for a deal, I am all in. I trust John Mozeliak and company, but Noot is my guy. Keep Nootbaar, sign Contreras, snag an arm and we are all set for a fun 2023 season.