The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, but they may have some big competition as the Houston Astros are linked as well.
The Cardinals are looking to add some stars to their roster to make up for the big losses of Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright. Molina, in particular, left a big hole in the roster as there was only one backup catcher. It makes sense for them to pursue a star while they can to fill the gap, but it might not be as easy as they hope for.
The Astros have done great at rebuilding their roster over the past few seasons, and they’re fresh off a World Series win, so that’s certainly an enticing quality that could draw players in.
He’s bound to earn a lot on the market. According to Jesse Rogers of ESPN, “Contreras is in line for a deal between four and five years, worth up to $80 million, sources said.”
The Astros need a catcher as bad as the Cardinals do, so the competition will likely be tough.
The Astros need Willson Contreras as much as the Cardinals do
The Astros were looking into trading for Contreras at the deadline, but they ultimately didn’t because Dusty Baker didn’t feel like it was a “proper fit” at the time. They traded for Christian Vazquez instead, who is also a free agent now and unlikely to go back to Houston.
Contreras is one of the best catchers in the league currently, so either team would undoubtedly benefit from him. He’s great in the lineup as he slashed .243/.349/.466 for an OPS of .815 this past season. He’s also played in three All-Star games and won a World Series in 2016.
With both teams losing their catchers, they could absolutely use such a high-quality one to step up. However, the Cardinals may struggle with the Astros now in the mix.