Willson Contreras signed a five-year $87.5 million dollar deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards get their new catcher after Yadier Molina retired, and Contreras makes them even better than they already were. The Los Angeles Angels were reportedly in on Contreras and were outbid by St. Louis.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed everything that went into the Cardinals signing Contreras. Of note in that article for Angels fans was that they were one of the finalists along with the Astros for the former Cubs backstop.
This Willson Contreras rumor can be seen as good news and bad news for Angels fans.
Let's start with the good news. The Angels clearly are not done. It's unclear what their offer was, but you'd have to imagine they gave Contreras around the same AAV for four years. Goold said the fifth year is what got Contreras to St. Louis. Contreras is making $17.5 million dollars annually. That's $17.5 million dollars at least that they can spend towards another player or two.
That's obviously not enough to sign someone like Dansby Swanson but what if they added another $5-7 million dollars to that? Is that enough? Or if they dumped a contract to clear up money.
Even signing someone like Brandon Nimmo and then moving Taylor Ward to first base or flipping him for a shortstop or pitcher could sense. Having this money available is huge, and shows that they are, in fact, not done.
The bad news here is why exactly were the Angels in on Contreras? The Halos just traded for Logan O'Hoppe. He is the catcher of the future. I suppose flipping him in a separate deal could make sense, I just don't see the point of that if you have any faith in O'Hoppe turning into a good MLB catcher.
Contreras is 30 years old and signed a five-year deal. There is almost no chance he's a reliable option behind the plate at the end of that deal. The Angels (hopefully) have their DH for the next 10-12 years in Shohei Ohtani. There is really no need to be giving out this contract to Contreras.
I think it's a great sign that the Angels are still willing to spend more money. They're showing a commitment to winning that we haven't seen in years with that. Doing it by signing Contreras would have been the wrong thing to do, in my opinion. Use that money