Willson Contreras is the best catcher set to hit the free-agent market, and the St. Louis Cardinals make the most sense as a potential landing spot for the All-Star.
After a strong 2022 season, Willson Contreras is set to hit the open market, and there will be a plethora of interest in the 30-year-old catcher. In 113 games on the year with the Chicago Cubs, he had 22 home runs, 55 RBIs, and a .243 batting average. This was good enough for him to make his third-career All-Star Game, and that too also heightens his value as a free agent.
Although Contreras will be receiving plenty of calls around the league, there’s no better potential fit for him than the Cubs’ biggest rival – the St. Louis Cardinals. Although Cubs fans will cringe at the thought of the seven-year veteran joining St. Louis, it’s rather apparent that this very well could come to fruition. Let’s take a gander as to why this is the case.
3 reasons Cardinals make the most sense for Willson Contreras
3. Cardinals need to find a Yadier Molina replacement
Since 2004, the St. Louis Cardinals had the privilege of having Yadier Molina as their catcher. Yet, after 19 wonderful seasons with the club, Molina has called it a career. Although the 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner has earned the right to retire, there’s no question that there’s now a major hole in St. Louis’ roster behind the plate. Thus, it makes all the sense in the world for them to make a real push for Contreras.
No disrespect intended toward Molina, but Contreras would not only serve as a replacement for the legend, but an improvement as well. Over the last few years, Contreras has emerged as a star in this league, so he would be an upgrade behind the plate for St. Louis given Molina’s decline in play this past season. With the Cardinals having World Series aspirations, this is something that should truly entice them. Therefore, expect to see them make a real push to make Contreras their starting catcher for 2023 and beyond.