Controversy Swirls In St. Louis As Cardinals Make Another Move With Big Free Agent Signing

It was only a week ago that the St. Louis Cardinals decided that their big free agent signing from this past offseason—catcher Willson Contreras—would no longer be catching, due to a "lack of confidence" issues within the team. But just seven days later, the $87M man is set to be back behind the plate, returning to his catching duties on Monday. 

“We felt really good about the progress that we've made and it lines up really well for him to catch on Monday with Jack (Flaherty) on the mound," was how manager Oliver Marmol described the situation. Others around St. Louis had other ways to explain it:

Certainly, making Contreras the scapegoat for their horrendous start to the season was a plan that left the Cardinals looking ridiculous, and now that's been exacerbated once again. 

St. Louis had been spoiled for the past two decades by the defensive excellence of Yadier Molina behind the plate. Contreras was never known as a premier defensive catcher in his seven years with the Chicago Cubs, so why the Cards didn't take that into consideration when shelling out a 5-year contract for $87M to the backstop in free agency is a mystery to all. 

But Contreras will now be back in his familiar squatting position come Monday. Whether that helps the Cardinals get out of last place in the NL Central remains to be seen. 

 Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports