New St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras — tasked with replacing Yadier Molina — twisted the knife in his former team, the Chicago Cubs, during his press conference.
Willson Contreras was forced to imagine life as a St. Louis Cardinal for quite some time. Once he wasn’t dealt at the trade deadline last season, Contreras had to know there was a good chance his then-division rival would be interested in his services.
Yadier Molina manned the backstop for the Cards for decades. There is no adequately replacing Yadi, as he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Nonetheless, Conteras will do his best.
He endeared himself to St. Louis baseball fans on Day 1, thanks to a couple of ill-timed shots at his former team and now rival, the Cubs.
Willson Contreras embraces his role in Cardinals-Cubs rivalry
When asked about leaving the north side of Chicago, Willson Contreras didn’t seem all too bothered:
“I’m thankful for the Cubs. I’m thankful for their fans. But now, I’m looking forward to beating the Chicago Cubs. It’s part of the game. It’s part of the business. I’m going to do everything I can to help the Cardinals win,” Contreras said.
Contreras introduced himself to Adam Wainwright when a deal was close, per the new catcher himself. His next step is to meet the rest of the Cardinals pitching staff, which includes Jack Flaherty and any new faces they bring on board.
The Cubs had plenty of opportunities to sign Contreras long-term. They even could’ve traded him at the deadline in hopes of choosing his next home and avoiding this scenario entirely. Instead, they held onto him throughout his contract.
Contreras signed a five-year, $87.5 million deal, making him on the highest-paid catchers in baseball. His deal includes a club option for 2028, as well.