5 early season trade targets for the St. Louis Cardinals
By Josh Jacobs
Reds Catcher Tyler Stephenson
One of the few Cincinnati Reds off to a good start in 2022, Tyler Stephenson is slashing .263/.356/.500 with 3 HR and 8 RBI behind the plate for the Reds. Considering Cincinnati is off to a 3-22 start to the season, few players will be off limits for a club that was selling in the offseason.
Grabbing a guy like Stephenson would be a win now move for 2022 and give the Cardinals a great long term successor to Yadier Molina. Stephenson is 25 and in his third big league season, and has a career line of .284/.366/.447 with 15 home runs and 59 RBI in 154 career games. Stephenson can share the load with Andrew Knizner in 2023 and beyond.
On paper, trading for another catcher does not seem like a obvious move. Looking at the numbers for the club so far, the duo of Molina and Knizner have combined for an OPS of .615 thus far, which ranks 18th in baseball, and is dragged down by Molina’s performance so far. There is no way that Molina does not stay on the team this season, and there are signs of improvement there for him. Should he or Knizner deal with injuries though, Stephenson could be a feasible target.
Stephenson’s bat is also good enough to spend time at first base or DH, so the Cardinals could carry all three on the roster if needed.