Former Cubs catcher Willson Contreras agrees to deal with the Cardinals, reports say


CHICAGO – One of the core players for the Cubs over the better part of the last decade is now going to join the team’s biggest rival.

Per multiple reports, Willson Contreras has agreed to a deal to join the Cardinals, with Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reporting that it’s a five-year contract worth $87.5 million.

The club has yet to confirm the move.

It brings an end to Contreras’ long run with the Cubs organization that began when they signed him as an international free agent in 2009. He would make his major league debut in 2016 and was a fixture behind the plate for the franchise for the next seven seasons.

Contreras was named a National League All-Star starter three times – 2018, 2019 and 2022 – and aided four playoff runs for the Cubs. That included the team’s 2016 World Series championship, the first for the franchise in 108 years.

In 734 games over the seven seasons, Contreras had a slash line of .256/.349/.459 with 133 doubles, ten triples, 117 home runs, and 365 RBI.

This past season, the catcher hit .243 with 23 doubles, 22 homers, and 55 RBI in 113 games, doing so on the final year of his contract as the sides could never agree on a long-term deal. It was expected that Contreras would be traded at the MLB deadline in August, but the team didn’t pull the trigger on a deal.

After the season, the Cubs made a qualifying offer of $19.65 million to the catcher, but he declined it, as expected. Since that happened, the Cubs will receiver a compensatory pick in the 2023 MLB Draft.

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