Former Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras David Banks/USA TODAY Sports

All-Star catcher Willson Contreras is headed to St. Louis after signing a five-year, $87.5 million contract. The former Cub will don a rivaled Cardinals jersey after spending seven years in Chicago.

Contreras takes the place of longtime backstop Yadier Molina, who retired at the end of last season. Molina spent his entire 19 year career as a Cardinal and as the primary catcher for Adam Wainwright. The duo would break the MLB’s record for games started by a battery unit with 325.

The Venezuelan had another All-Star season in 2022 where he slashed .243/.349/.466 with an OPS of .815. He crushed 22 home runs and tallied 55 RBIs in 113 games with the Cubs.

The 30-year-old was the subject of trade rumors around the trade deadline last year. The Mets, Padres, Astros, and Rays all had interest in Contreras, however no deal was enticing enough from the Cubs’ view. Management was hopeful that an extension could be agreed upon after the deadline lapsed, but Contreras declined the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer to test free agency. The Cubs will receive a compensatory pick and the Cardinals’ second-highest draft pick as a result.

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