St. Louis Cardinals News: Cards add catching depth
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired catcher Ali Sánchez from the New York Mets in exchange for cash considerations, the teams announced Friday.
Sanchez, 24, debuted with the Mets in 2020, going 1-for-9 in only 10 plate appearances. He is said by scouts to be a plus-defender behind the plate with an average bat. It is unlikely he makes an impact at the major-league level this season, given that he split most of his time in ‘19 between Double-A and Triple-A, hitting .261/.326/.322 with one home run.
It is very similar to his production across six minor-league seasons, where he has hit .259/.317/.331 and has lacked power. Behind the plate, however, is where he makes his biggest impact. He has thrown out 46 percent of attempted base stealers in his career, an impressive number that likely drew the attention of the Cardinals and other teams.
It makes sense why the team would target him, and they likely believe he comes with upside at the plate. But his addition is important organizational depth for a team that has been starved for catching depth behind Yadier Molina. Their other internal options, Andrew Knizner and Tyler Heineman, are decent backups but do not figure into the long-term picture.
The Cardinals are likely to consider adding more catching depth after this move, though their priority is adding infielders and/or starting pitching on non-roster invitee contracts. If the team splurges, look for it to be on Jake Odorizzi if his asking price comes down. But the rest of the offseason will be meant to address the depth on the roster, and the Sanchez trade was president of baseball operations John Mozeliak doing just that.
And it would not be surprising to see another move or two similar to this before pitchers and catchers report to spring training.