4 players the St. Louis Cardinals may regret losing this offseason

The Cardinals had a handful of players leave the team this offseason. Some of their performances will be missed in 2024.

St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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Andrew Knizner (non-tender)

Andrew Knizner was drafted by the Cardinals in the 7th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft. He was a part of the catching prospect depth that included Carson Kelly and Ivan Herrera. Knizner's progress between 2018 and 2019 made Carson Kelly an expendable commodity to the Cardinals, thus allowing them to trade Kelly as a part of a package for Paul Goldschmidt.

It was assumed by many that Andrew Knizner was the heir apparent to Yadier Molina. His offense was his calling card, but his defense began catching up to his plus-bat tool in the 2019 season. Knizner was starting to learn how to call a baseball game, and when he was brought up for the first time in 2019, his experience under the tutelage of Yadier Molina helped him grow even more defensively.

Andrew Knizner isn't going to wow anyone with his bat; his career 73 OPS+ is evidence of that. Inconsistent playing time may have led to his below-average offensive numbers, but his ability to produce offensively was limited by his lack of walks and an inability to hit for much power.

Where Knizner's presence will be missed is his game calling. Last year, the Cardinals moved Willson Contreras off the catching position because he didn't have a good rapport with the starting rotation; the front office and coaching staff believed Andrew Knizner to be the preferred catcher for this reason. His familiarity with the Cardinals' pitchers, his blocking abilities, and his game-calling skills were qualities the team lost when Yadier Molina retired.

After promoting Pedro Pages to the 40-man roster, there wasn't much room for a fourth catcher. Andrew Knizner was not tendered a contract, and he became a free agent. He ended up signing with the Texas Rangers on a one-year, $1.85 million contract.