Cardinals replace Yadier Molina with Willson Contreras in $87.5M contract
- Contreras, 30, had been the starting catcher for the Chicago Cubs for the past six years.
- He was part of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series title run and is a three-time All Star.
- Molina, 40, has retired since the Cardinals lost to the Phillies in a Wild Card series.
- The Puerto Rican won two World Series in 2006 and 2011 in his 18-year career
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The St. Louis Cardinals have replaced their catcher Yadier Molina with free agent Wilson Contreras, who last played for the Cubs, in a five-year, $87.5 million contract.
Contreras, 30, had been playing for Chicago since 2016 and had 22 home runs, 23 doubles, 55 RBI and 103 strikeouts against 45 walks in 113 in 2022. Overall, the 30-year-old Venezuelan has a batting average .256 batting average with 117 home runs and 365 RBIs in his seven MLB seasons.
He was also part of the Cubs’ 2016 World Series title run and was voted a starter in the MLB All-Star Game this year, as well as in 2019 and 2018. His time in the Windy City can be considered successful, considering which has been part of the postseason from 2015 to 2020.
Free agent catcher Wilson Contreras signed with the Cardinals for five years, $87.5 million.
Contreras’ versatility will also be an asset for the Cardinals. The right-hander can play left field and first base, as well as catcher, and can also serve as his new team’s designated hitter when he’s not hunkered down behind hitters.
He’s reliable, too, appearing in 113 games last season for the Cubs.
Contreras was the free agent catcher with a draft pick compensation associated with his name after the Cubs offered him a qualifying deal, according to ESPN.
His median salary of $17.5 million ranks fourth highest among MLB catchers, according to the New York Post.
Contreras’ versatility will be a plus for St. Louis as he replaces retired legend Yadier Molin
Molina (left, seen with Albert Pujols) is a two-time World Series champion and 10-time All Star
The three-time All-Star follows JT Realmuto ($23.1 million), Salvador Perez ($20.5 million) and Yasmani Grandal ($18.25 million).
As for Molina, 40, retirement is the name of the game. The two-time World Series champion (2006, 2011) hung up the gauntlet after the Cardinals were defeated 2-0 in the Wild Card Series by the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 2022 he hit .214/.233/.302 in 262 at-bats and was the slowest player in Major League Baseball, with a sprint speed of 21.8 feet per second.
In addition to winning it all twice, Molina is also a 10-time All-Star. In addition, he has won nine Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger Award while recording 2,168 hits.