A catcher will most likely be traded this offseason
Even with Andrew Knizner entering free agency after being non-tendered a contract, it's still surprising to see the Cardinals have three more catchers on the major league roster.
Willson Contreras completed his first season with the Cardinals after signing a five-year $87.5 million contract in the offseason. Contreras and the team seemed to clash at times as he was replacing legendary catcher Yadier Molina, who'd spent close to two decades with the team. Throughout the season, Contreras worked hard with the team and the pitching staff to get on the same page with what they needed from him.
In the meantime, he was a significant upgrade on offense at the position and saw some time as designated hitter. He hit .264/.358/.467 with an OPS of .826. He hit 27 doubles and 20 home runs, stole six bases, and earned 55 runs and 67 RBI.
While Contreras was the team's designated hitter, Andrew Knizner became the starting catcher. He had been the backup to Molina for several seasons, meaning Knizner had a significant spike in performance in 2023. He performed well as Contreras's backup and had a fantastic year hitting.
Knizner hit .241/.288/.424 with an OPS of .712. He had a career year with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, 30 runs scored, and 31 RBIs.
Additionally, fans saw Ivan Herrera step in as a backup this season. Herrera was once thought to be the heir apparent to Molina but failed to step up when given opportunities. In the time he was with the team in 2023, there was an improvement, especially on defense. Herrera still has some work to be done.
This week, Pedro Pages was placed on the 40-man roster to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. He impressed the organization with his play at Double-A Springfield in 2023.
Without a doubt, this offseason will have many questions surrounding catching once again. It will be interesting to see who the Cardinals decide to move and who they ultimately keep.