2023 is quickly approaching, and the seemingly never-ending MLB offseason is in full swing. After seeing players like Jose Abreu signing with the Houston Astros, fans around the league are waiting for their teams to make a splash.
St. Louis Cardinals fans are waiting for the oven to heat up. It is only a matter of time before the timer dings, and the oven is done preheating. Sure, it is fun to predict what will happen as fans, but at the end of the day, the power is out of our hands.
What moves will the Cardinals leadership make heading into the new year?
An Update From Mo: Words From the Big Man
You do not expect your front office to go out and explicitly say all the moves they are going to make, but it is nice to at least have some insight into the direction they plan to go in. On Tuesday, we got a little bit of that direction from St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak.
A lot of what he has said all offseason has been redundant; it’s obvious we need a catcher, pitching, and a bat from the left side of the plate. The good news is that during the phone call on Tuesday, Mozeliak stated the team’s top priority this winter. Can you guess what it is?
The biggest off-season priority is to obtain an everyday catcher. Whether we go out and trade for a guy like Sean Murphy from the Oakland Athletics or Alejandro Kirk from the Toronto Blue Jays, who knows? What I do know, however, is I will go to my deathbed saying that the Cardinals need to sign Willson Contreras, but that is beside the point.
Andrew Knizner is not the answer at the catcher position in 2023. I love him, but he is not the guy. St. Louis received a blessing in disguise as Yadier Molina fought the injury bug last season, so we got a sneak peek at what Knizner could do with the starting gig.
Thankfully, we got that out of the way. I would love him as our No. 2 guy, but we need a clear No. 1. Mo let us all know that he is going to make that happen.
We also got a little more news when it comes to the shortstop position. There are a lot of big names in free agency at this position, and the Cardinals have been linked to guys like Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts. Mo continues to beat around the bushes when asked about his plans at shortstop.
“Tommy Edman is a very, very good shortstop,” Mozeliak said.
That has been the story of the offseason. Mo is saying Edman is the guy until he isn’t. The team will likely shop the position throughout free agency.
If a generational talent is interested in playing ball in Busch Stadium, Edman will move to second base, outfield, or even a bench role. For now, the job is all Edman’s.
Catching a Star
It is going to be strange not seeing No. 4 as the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2023. His jersey will be worn by hundreds around the park, but it is time for somebody else to receive the ball from the pitcher.
I want our money to go to a catcher. I do not want to have to trade a guy like Lars Nootbaar or Dylan Carlson when we can just sign somebody.
If I was the GM, I would go all out on signing an everyday catcher, and if all else fails, you have Andrew Knizner. I would not mind having Knizner as our starter until the All-Star Break. At that point, we can snag a catcher from a team that is selling and get him cheaper than the current asking price.
I agree with John Mozeliak that our No. 1 priority is landing a catcher, but it should be done the right way. All I know is I am ready to order my Willson Contreras jersey when he announces his signing with the Cardinals.