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Willson Contreras could sign with rival team

Willson Contreras rounding the bases

Sep 7, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras (40) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the third inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Willson Contreras signed with the Chicago Cubs as a teenager in 2009 and has not played for any other team. But now he is being pursued by one of the Cubs’ biggest rivals.

On Tuesday, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reported that the St. Louis Cardinals are among the favorites to sign Contreras.

The Cardinals need a new catcher for the first time in nearly two decades since Yadier Molina retired. Contreras would be a more than adequate replacement.

The 30-year-old catcher is a three-time All-Star who has batted .256 with an .808 OPS throughout his career. He has also averaged 26 home runs per 162 games.

In addition to the Cardinals, the Houston Astros are believed to be heavily in the mix for Contreras.

Martin Maldonado has served as Houston’s primary catcher the last two seasons. Maldonado is a defense-first catcher who has batted below .190 in two straight seasons.

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