Cardinals, Astros among 3 teams with offers to Willson Contreras


Cardinals, Astros among 3 teams with offers to Contreras originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

SAN DIEGO - Could Cubs fans worst nightmare come true when it comes to Willson Contreras' landing spot in free agency?

The answer could come as soon as this week - perhaps within hours of whenever the A's finally close a deal on a trade of their widely coveted Gold Glove catcher, Sean Murphy.

That's because the market for Cubs free agent Willson Contreras has heated up enough this week at the Winter Meetings that the All-Star catcher has received multiyear, preliminary offers from three teams, including the Cardinals and Astros, multiple sources said Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear who the third team is (although sources indicated neither the Red Sox nor the Rays).

"There's a couple guys that'd be a good fit, and it's a matter of us taking a step back and making sure we get it right," said Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, who joined Cards president John Mozeliak in a meeting with Contreras and his agents last week near Contreras' home in Orlando, Florida.

"But Willson is a very good competitor," Marmol added. "This is a guy that loves to win, who wakes up thinking about it and goes to sleep thinking about it. We've seen him quite a bit across the way, and it's a guy you don't want to compete against because you know he's pretty good.

"He's a great competitor and we respect his game."

Contreras to the Cardinals? Yikes.

All three teams in the bidding for Contreras are linked to the Murphy trade sweepstakes. None of the free agent offers being discussed exceed four years. But when Murphy lands - to the Rays? - one source expects the focus on Contreras to intensify. That could mean the chance to leverage an offer of five or more years.

Astros manager Dusty Baker and other Astros officials met with Contreras' agents on Monday in San Diego.

Baker, whose input helped nixed an otherwise done deal for Contreras at the trade deadline in August, said Monday he likes Contreras and downplayed his input at the deadline, calling it more a timing issue for the three-time All-Star than anything else.

"[This is] just maybe a postponement, who knows?" Baker said.

RELATED: Baker: Astros' nixed Contreras deal may be mere 'postponement'

The Cardinals have the most symbolic, if not the most urgent, need at the position as they look to backfill for retiring, Hall of Fame-bound Yadi Molina.

"We know we're not going to replace Yadi," Mozeliak said during last month's General Managers Meetings. "He was a defensive savant. But we don't want to take a huge step back defensively because our team is centered around defense.

"And the other thing that sort of goes unseen," he added, "is that Yadi was so good on helping with game prep, game strategy, obviously in-game decisions with the pitcher. His baseball IQ was incredible.

"How do you backfill for that or replace it? That's something internally we have to work through."

That was a big part of meeting face-to-face with Contreras last week.

"It was a good visit; it really was," Marmol said. "When you set aside everything from a competitive [perspective], seeing him from across the way, and you're just having a conversation with him and what drives him and what motivates him and what he's looking for moving forward, it's telling. We enjoyed our visit."

Click here to follow the Cubs Talk Podcast.


Download MyTeams Today!


More Related News

Keith Law
Keith Law's top 100 prospects list has four Red Sox and one breakout candidate

Keith Law's new top 100 MLB prospects ranking features four Red Sox players, but it's one breakout candidate that has our John Tomase intrigued as the 2023 minor league seasons approach.

Jonathan Gannon will return to Eagles as DC in 2023 despite HC interest from teams
Jonathan Gannon will return to Eagles as DC in 2023 despite HC interest from teams

The Cardinals have interest in the Eagles DC but it seems unlikely they will get to interview him.

AP source: Royals agree with RHP Greinke on deal for 2023
AP source: Royals agree with RHP Greinke on deal for 2023

The deal will make it nine seasons over two stints in Kansas City for Greinke.

Red Sox designate right-hander Franklin German for assignment
Red Sox designate right-hander Franklin German for assignment

The Boston Red Sox announced they have designated right-hander Franklin German for assignment to make room on the roster for newly-acquired southpaw Richard Bleier.

Chip Caray follows grandpa
Chip Caray follows grandpa's footsteps as voice of Cardinals

Chip Caray follows grandpa Harry Caray's footsteps as voice of Cardinals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Baseball