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Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals have a substantial wish list this offseason. Who should they look to sign, and who should they avoid? 

John Mozeliak, Cardinals president of baseball operations, has a lengthy to-do list this offseason in hopes of replacing a legend behind the plate and bolstering a talented roster.

With the retirement of Yadier Molina, Mozeliak has said his number one goal this offseason is to find a proper replacement for the legend. Mozeliak has said he looks to find the best option by whatever means, including free agency or looking into trades. The Cardinals already have Andrew Knizner, who is a decent backup but not ready for a full-time role. Ivan Herrera is the Cardinals top catching prospect and was once believed to be Molina’s heir-apparent. During a stretch of games where Molina was not with the team this season, Herrera was brought up and allowed to shine. He did not and was sent back to Memphis to continue improving once Molina returned. Herrera and Knizner will be given opportunities in Spring Training, but it will likely be nothing more than a backup role.

The next plan will be finding a designated hitter-type to replace Albert Pujols, who won NL Comeback Player of the Year with his efforts this summer.

After addressing those issues, the Cardinals will key in on pitching. The past couple of seasons and their multitude of injuries and other problems show just how important having good, reliable pitchers healthy and available can be for the Cardinals. The Cardinals starting rotation includes Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, Jordan Montgomery, Steven Matz, and  Adam Wainwright, who will be in the final year of his career. Dakota Hudson will be looked at as well as rookie surprise Andre Pallante. The Cardinals could attempt to bring back Jose Quintana, who impressed in his trade deadline move to the team. The Cardinals may have to make outside moves to bolster their pitching staff in rotation and bullpen. There are many good options available, and they should not fear looking.

Let’s look at some moves the Cardinals could make this off-season.

The Cardinals should sign Carlos Rodon

The lefty starter opted out of the remaining year of his two-year, $44 million deal with the San Francisco.

He was 14-8 in 2022 with a 2.88 ERA in 31 games started. He threw 178 innings with 237 strikeouts. Rodon’s slider and four-seam fastball are his most effective put-away pitches. He has a groundball rate of 35.3 percent.

Rodon would be the addition the Cardinals are seeking, as he is an innings-eating strike-thrower. While he’s getting attention from the Texas Rangers, joining the Cardinals could prove intriguing for Rodon as he would have one of the league’s best defenses behind him with Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Tommy Edman.

Rodon was also a target of the Cardinals at the trade deadline.

Next: A catcher to replace Molina

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Celtics Grant Williams being targeted by Conference Rival: Report

Getty Grant Williams, Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics failed to reach an agreement with Grant Williams on a potential contract extension this past summer, meaning the impressive young forward will become a restricted free agent once the current season reaches its conclusion.

However, according to Greg Sylvander of Five Reason Sports, Williams may not be with the Celtics by that point, as both he and the Miami Heat have a ‘mutual interest’ in a potential trade.

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— Greg Sylvander (@GregSylvander) November 4, 2022

“The Miami Heat have honed in on Grant Williams as a player of interest via trade. There appears to be mutual interest in a potential move at some point this season, per sources. A third team may be needed to facilitate. (The) assumption is (the) Heat would acquire Williams with intent to extend him,” Sylvander reported via Five Reasons Sports ‘Off the floor’ update service. 

Williams is a core member of the Celtics rotation, providing them with exceptional floor spacing and a reliable presence on defense due to his versatility and ability to switch across multiple positions. Over his first 22 games of the season, Williams is averaging 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and two assists per game while shooting 45.8% from deep and 53.4% from the field. 

It’s also worth remembering that due to Williams being a restricted free agent, the Celtics have the ability to match any offer sheet he signs, and as such, Boston is not under pressure to pursue a trade for their fourth year forward.

Boston Drew a Line During Contract Negotiations

On November 14, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported that Boston had drawn the line in their contract negotiations with Williams at $12.5 million per year over four years, giving Williams a $50 million dollar deal.

Sources: The Celtics never offered Grant Williams more than $50 million guaranteed over four years during extension talks before the season. More on what rival executives believe it’ll take to pry Williams from Boston on @hoopshype.

— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) November 15, 2022

“During extension talks with Grant Williams, the Celtics never offered more than $50 million guaranteed over four years, league sources told HoopsHype. As I previously reported on HoopsHype, Williams would’ve taken a deal for $14 million annually. There are some around the league that believe an offer around $18 million annually could be too much for Boston to match in restricted free agency,” Scotto wrote.

Williams’ production this season has certainly seen his stock rise around the league, and now, it’s highly likely that he will see a significant increase in the amount of money he’s being offered when he enters restricted free agency in the summer of 2023.

Williams Has Improved His Offensive Game

Last season, we saw Williams become one of the most respectable catch-and-shoot threats in the NBA, with him averaging 41% shooting on 251 attempts during the regular season. 

This year, Williams has added an off-the-dribble game to his offensive arsenal, allowing him to attack close-out and pressure defenses with a floater game – leading him to average 52% from the short mid-range area and 78% within four feet of the rim.

Grant is one of the core members of the Celtics rotation. Is a top-8 guy on a contending roster & has improved his offensive game, again (floater, etc)

I see NO reason why the Celtics would even consider trading him – especially when it would strengthen a direct rival.

— Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorNBA) December 3, 2022

Given the Tennessee native’s continued improvement on both ends of the floor, it’s highly unlikely Brad Stevens agrees to any deal that would see him go to, and improve, a conference rival – especially one as talented as the Heat, regardless of what the potential trade package looked like, or how many future assets were tied to the deal.

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