Willson Contreras Signs With the Cardinals

Willson Contreras has chosen a new home.

MLB’s offseason is long and filled with many quiet days. Wednesday was not one of those days. After Yadier Molina’s 19 years with the St. Louis Cardinals ended, they have chosen their new man behind the dish. 

It was made clear all winter long that John Mozeliak and company made acquiring a catcher their No. 1 priority. The only question was if they would trade for a catcher or break the bank for one. That question was answered as Willson Contreras signed with the Cardinals on Wednesday. 

Welcome to St. Louis, Willson Contreras

Willson Contreras signed a 5-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $87.5 million. Contreras is coming off an All-Star season with the Chicago Cubs as he heads to his divisional rival. It’s hard to replace a guy who played over 2,000 games for you, but Contreras is the new guy in town. 

There will inevitably be some mixed thoughts on the signing simply due to the nature of replacing Yadier Molina. St. Louis fans should rejoice, as an All-Star is in town. Some fans are also thinking back to the Dexter Fowler signing and how it did not work out. Baseball is about having a short memory, and fans should have the same mindset.

The 30-year-old is Contreras is coming off an impressive season with the Cubs. The Venezuelan had a .243 batting average, .815 OPS, 22 home runs, and the lowest strikeout rate of his career. That OPS will be seen on the field as the OPS of our catchers last season was barely above .500. His leadership and defense are nothing close to Yadi’s, but we are paying for his bat. It sure feels good to steal from the losers up North. 

Contreras ranked 2nd in wRC+ at 132 among catchers, with at least 250 plate appearances in 2022. His arm strength is good, and he has proven he can be a winning catcher. As a franchise, we have been spoiled behind the plate, and that will continue to be the case. The defense will not drop jaws, but it really should not be that large of a turnoff.

An Eventful Day for the Cardinals

I woke up this morning very sad at a notification I saw on my phone. Jose Quintana signed with the New York Mets. The St. Louis Cardinals lost their game one starter and a quality LHP which we have lacked for years. 

The rumors about Willson Contreras signing all began with the relationship with Quintana. Part of me thought that this meant Contreras to the Cardinals was a no-go. Turns out, I got an even better notification on my phone shortly after. Contreras signs a 5-year deal with the Cardinals. Wednesday started off low but finished high.

St. Louis has a clear No. 5 hitter in the lineup now behind Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Imagine how potent this offense is going to be with Contreras in the mix. The Cardinals had one of the best offenses in MLB last year, and that was with a catcher who could not hit. If you have been reading any articles on this website lately, you will know today’s signing of Contreras has made for a great day for me, even if we had to say goodbye to Quintana.

After an interesting week of negotiations, Sean Murphy is not a Cardinal, but now we can use our young assets to acquire an arm. Or, they do not even have to trade them. I would not mind keeping around guys like Nolan Gorman. Spending money is risky, but the AAV for Contreras is an incredible value.

Ultimately, this signing will pay off nicely for the Redbirds. 



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