Cardinals: 5 early offseason trade and free agent targets

Tyler O'Neill (27) is congratulated by second baseman Tommy Edman (19) and designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) after a walk-off hit by pitch with the bases loaded against the Colorado Rockies during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler O'Neill (27) is congratulated by second baseman Tommy Edman (19) and designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) after a walk-off hit by pitch with the bases loaded against the Colorado Rockies during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aug 17, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy (12) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 17, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy (12) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Sean Murphy

The Oakland Athletics appear to be a long way from the end of their rebuild, and catcher Sean Murphy may be the next in line to go.

The 27-year old has shown a lot of promise in his career and holds a .249/.327/.446 line with 16 HR and 52 RBI for a club with very little talent around him. Playing in 108 games so far this year, Murphy is dependable behind the plate and would provide St. Louis with an excellent player.

Murphy has three years of team control remaining, and with how thin the catcher position is around the league, may require an expensive package to get any deal done. The appeal of trading for Murphy over signing Contreras is he is three years younger and will be significantly cheaper for the next three years.

The catcher does not have much experience when it comes to playoff pushes, but there is nothing in his game that would suggest he could not handle big moments. Murphy may even be viewed as the highest level stop gap the club can find, as it opens up a three year window to identify him or someone else as the long term replacement at catcher.

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