He was actually part of the Cubs team that broke a decades-long World Series drought in 2016, so fans love him in Chicago.
The Cubs didn’t give him the contract he wanted, though, and the Cardinals did.
They signed him to a five-year, $87.5 million pact with an option for a sixth season.
The Cardinals are trusting him to be Yadier Molina‘s replacement.
That’s not a small task: Yadi was the catcher in the Cardinals’ last World Series titles in 2006 and 2011 and is a true franchise hero.
He decided to retire after the 2022 campaign, so the Cards were forced to look for a replacement.
Contreras loves the Cubs, but at one point in the season, he started to make peace with the idea that the club may not have been that interested in his return.
Contreras Admires St. Louis’ Passion For Baseball
That’s why he started picturing his future, and one of the scenarios took him to St. Louis.
“Contreras said he started imagining himself as a Cardinal the day he saw Albert Pujols hit his 695th homer. Said he was on the IL, watching from the bench, envisioning playing for a team with that kind of tradition and celebration,” Cards insider Jeff Jones tweeted.
Contreras said he started imagining himself as a Cardinal the day he saw Albert Pujols hit his 695th homer. Said he was on the IL, watching from the bench, envisioning playing for a team with that kind of tradition and celebration.
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) December 9, 2022
That game came on September 4.
Pujols was on his quest to become the fourth MLB player to reach 700 homers, which he achieved.
Contreras saw how respected and revered Pujols is in St. Louis and wanted to sign there.
It’s truly a traditional MLB franchise, with history and a positive aura.
The catcher, who hit 22 homers and had a 132 wRC+ in 2022, will get to experience it.