The St. Louis Cardinals come into free agency with some roster questions that need to be addressed. Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina retired following the 2022 season, so they need a catcher and DH. Additionally, St. Louis would benefit by bolstering the rotation and infield as well.
The Cardinals still have talent with NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado leading the charge. But they can boost their chances of winning the NL Central once again by displaying some aggression in MLB free agency. Without further ado, let’s take a look at 4 free agents the Cardinals must target.
Jameson Taillon enjoyed a strong season with the New York Yankees in 2022. The right-hander will not make or break a rotation, but he’s a steady middle of the pitching staff arm. The Cardinals benefitted from their acquisition of former Yankees’ pitcher Jordan Montgomery last year, so adding another former Yankee could be a sound strategy once again.
St. Louis does a tremendous job of getting the most out of their pitchers. With veteran Adam Wainwright set to return as well, Wainwright could work as a mentor for Taillon and help him pitch to the best of his ability.
St. Louis should make a run at Jameson Taillon in free agency.
Cardinals’ Yadier Molina replacement: Mike Zunino
The Cardinals need a catcher with Yadier Molina retiring. Andrew Knizner is a decent option, but St. Louis would be smart to scout the catching market. The Cardinals could reach out to the Blue Jays in reference to one of their catchers, as Toronto features plenty of depth at the position. And free agent Willson Contreras also profiles as a fit.
But a cheaper option is free agent Mike Zunino. The 2021 All-Star features passable defensive prowess to go along with impressive power from the catching position. He was limited to just 36 games in 20222, so he will come at a discount. If Zunino stays healthy in 2023, he’s capable of hitting 25 home runs while holding down a premier position.
The Cardinals have no shortage of corner infield talent between Goldschmidt and Arenado. But they are candidates to sign either a second baseman or shortstop. Tommy Edman can play either position, so versatility will not be an issue.
One free agent who has been overlooked during the offseason is Adam Frazier. Frazier, a 2021 All-Star, can play second base and the outfield. After hitting over. 300 in 2021 with the Pirates and Padres, he took a step back in 2022 with the Mariners, hitting just .238 in Seattle. However, he played in 158 games and offered strong defense. His durability stands out without question.
Joey Mistretta ·
Alex Sabri ·
Joey Mistretta ·
If the Cardinals were to sign Adam Frazier to a cheap contract, it could turn into an absolute steal if he re-finds his 2021 form.
Michael Brantley’s 2022 season came to an early end due to injury. And his health will be something to keep an eye on moving forward. The Cardinals, who are in the market for a DH, could sign Brantley to fill the position. Brantley still features the ability to play the outfield, but he may profile better as a DH after undergoing surgery this past season.
Regardless of where he plays, he would add pure contact hitting ability for this St. Louis’ lineup.
It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals take a look at any of these four free agents.