Report: Willson Contreras, Cardinals Agree to 5-Year, $87.5M Contract in Free Agency

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 7, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Wilson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs at bat against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on June 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Free-agent catcher Willson Contreras, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Chicago Cubs, has reached a five-year, $87.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported a deal was close.

Contreras, who is entering his age-31 season, hit .243 (.815 OPS) and posted 22 home runs and 55 RBI in 2022.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported in December 2020 that the Cubs were "extensively shopping" Contreras. A trade never happened, and he and the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $9.6 million deal for the 2021 season to avoid arbitration.

It appeared Contreras could be leaving town last summer as the Cubs conducted a 2021 midseason fire sale that saw 2016 World Series heroes Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Báez all get moved as the team began a significant rebuilding process.

That didn't happen either, but the backstop is now moving on of his own accord.

Contreras will have massive shoes to fill, as he's replacing Yadier Molina behind the plate in St. Louis. The 10-time All-Star retired after the 2022 season.

That obviously left the Cardinals in need of a veteran catcher as they look to make the playoffs for the fifth straight year in 2023.