Cardinals Outline 2023 Goals for Willson Contreras

Tyler Maher
The St. Louis Cardinals are expecting big things from Willson Contreras in 2023.
The St. Louis Cardinals are expecting big things from Willson Contreras in 2023. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Willson Contreras has some big shoes to fill.

It's hard enough joining a new team in free agency, which entails getting acclimated to a new city, a new clubhouse and more. It's even harder when you have to replace a franchise legend.

The St. Louis Cardinals don't Contreras trying to be the next Yadier Molina, however. They want him to be himself.

Willson Contreras Cardinals

While the Cardinals are hoping for another All-Star-caliber season from Contreras -- that's what they're paying him for, after all -- they're also hoping he can help light a spark under a veteran team.

Contreras emerged as a clubhouse leader for the Chicago Cubs over the last several years, especially after the team traded away most of its longtime stars. St. Louis wants to see him bring that same type of leadership, energy and enthusiasm to the Cards.

Those traits are valuable in any ballplayer, but they're especially important in a catcher, whose job includes helping manage the pitching staff, controlling the game and acting as a leader on the field. Molina excelled in those areas, and the Cardinals want to see Contreras pick up where he left off.

Time will tell if the three-time All-Star and former World Series champ can earn the respect of his new teammates. It may be easier said than done after playing against them as a division rival for the past seven seasons, but hopefully, he can fit in and step up right away.

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