The St. Louis Cardinals and former Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras are reportedly in agreement on a 5-year, $87.5M dollar deal, per Jon Morosi. St. Louis has been listed as an MLB Free Agency suitor for Contreras throughout the offseason, as Yadier Molina announced his retirement following the 2022 campaign. This deal provides St. Louis with a talented option behind the plate.
Willson Contreras is regarded as one of the best offensive catchers in all of baseball. His defense isn’t quite as steady, and teams have discussed the idea of moving him to a 1B/DH role. But given the absence of Yadier Molina in St. Louis, the Cardinals would likely opt to keep Contreras behind the plate.
Willson Contreras slashed an impressive .243/.349/.466 with an .815 OPS last season. He was ultimately named to the NL All-Star team as a member of the Cubs. Contreras’ power stands out from the catcher position, as he’s blasted 20 or more home runs in 4 of his 7 career big league seasons.
St. Louis considered alternative options in the event that Willson Contreras signed elsewhere. Christian Vasquez and Sean Murphy were a pair of backstops tied to the Cardinals. But Contreras was always the primary option for St. Louis in free agency.
The Cardinals are now set at catcher with Willson Contreras on the roster. But it will be interesting to see if St. Louis makes any other high-profile moves in free agency. They could look into the starting pitching and outfield market. We will continue to provide updates on MLB free agency.