Sean Murphy, 2022
Last but not least, the Sean Murphy sweepstakes will be linked to the Cardinals for years to come.
Contreras has been an awesome Cardinal so far, so this is not necessarily a bad thing that the Cardinals went in that direction instead. Had the Cardinals traded for Murphy, they likely would not have two of the following players anymore: Nolan Gorman, Lars Nootbaar, Brendan Donovan, or Gordon Graceffo.
Now, the Cardinals would instead have the best catcher in baseball, who may be a net positive on the pitching staff and could have signed or acquired guys like Cody Bellinger, Dansby Swanson, Nathan Eovaldi, or Pablo Lopez instead of spending money on Contreras.
We won't know the true repercussions of this deal until years from now, but outside of the chaos the Cardinals have created by removing Contreras from catching duties, it looks like the Cardinals were able to avoid giving up emerging stars in Gorman and Nootbaar, and very valuable pieces in Donovan or Graceffo.