After years of playing behind the plate opposite Yadier Molina, Willson Contreras joined the St. Louis Cardinals after the legendary catcher retired. He left the Chicago Cubs to sign with the Cardinals, bringing a huge change to the organization after Molina’s 19-year career.

Despite being on opposite sides of one of MLB’s biggest rivalries, Contreras and Molina maintained a relationship that formed out of respect for one another. The veteran offered Contreras some friendly advice prior to his decision to join the Cardinals, according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN.

“In 2021, we had a really nice talk at Busch Stadium,” Contreras said, via ESPN. “The advice he gave me was ‘Don’t change who you are.’ That’s what makes you really good. You have to know who you’re catching and understand those days you can play at 100 percent and those days where you can play at 80 percent.”

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Molina had a long, successful career with the Cardinals as he helped them win championships and established himself as one of the best defenders in baseball history. Contreras gives them a sizable offensive boost at the catcher spot that should allow them to compete for another title, though his start to the season has been inauspicious. Still, with him and stud rookie Jordan Walker, St. Louis is in a great position for the future.

Contreras told ESPN that he doesn’t see himself as the Cardinals’ replacement for Molina. In his view, he is “ succeeding the best catcher in the game over the last two decades.”