Sun, 05 Feb 2023

Cardinals' Willson Contreras: 'An honor to wear this uniform'

Field Level Media
10 Dec 2022, 04:55 GMT+10

Three-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras had every reason to smile during Friday's news conference.

Contreras, after all, signed a five-year contract with a club option for 2028 to join the St. Louis Cardinals. Financial terms were not revealed by the club, however multiple media outlets reported it was worth $87.5 million.

"What an amazing day for myself and the Cardinals organization," Contreras said Friday. "It's an honor to wear this uniform."

Contreras also expressed his appreciation of former Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. The 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove recipient retired after last season.

"Yadier Molina, we all know who the guy is. The best catcher of the last two decades," Contreras said. "He set the bar really high. He was my idol. ... That's a guy I've learned a lot from watching. It's an honor to wear this uniform and succeed Yadier Molina."

Contreras, 30, declined a one-year qualifying offer of $19.65 million from the Chicago Cubs in October, making him a free agent.

He reached the All-Star Game for the third time last season while batting .243 with 22 homers and 55 RBIs.

"We are pleased to introduce Willson Contreras as the newest member of the St. Louis Cardinals," said John Mozeliak, the club's president of baseball operations. "Willson is a proven All-Star performer who is driven to win each and every day. The Cardinals have had a lengthy history of standout catchers, and we feel that Willson is someone who is capable of adding his name to that distinguished list in the years to come."

Contreras also was a key player on the Cubs' World Series-winning club in 2016 as he hit .282 in his first major league season.

Contreras topped 20 homers four times in his seven big league seasons with the Cubs. He has a .256 average with 117 homers and 365 RBIs in 734 career games.

--Field Level Media

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