For at least the sixth time now since the end of the 2020 season, Chicago Cubs fans are watching a 2016 World Series Champion fan favorite join another team. Free agent Willson Contreras has signed a five-year $87.5 million contract with the "arch" rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Houston Astros reportedly also offered a contract, but the Cubs were never reported to be in the mix.
Contreras follows the footsteps of fan favorites Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant by moving from the north side of Chicago. But unlike the forementioned, his first stop post-Cubs is still in the NL Central (Jon Lester did spend a little time with the Cards at the end of is career after Washington, but ultimately retired a Cub).
There is no way around how to feel about this; it just plain stinks. Not only are we losing one of our team leaders, but he also chose our collective last choice of teams we'd begin to imagine him going to. Losing Contreras is going to leave a large gaping hole in the roster offensively and defensively, but this one is going to hurt just as bad - if not, worse - off the field, in the locker room, and in Wrigleyville. As tough as it will be to see him in that ugly red get-up, he is always going to be an icon, a hero, and a staple in Chicago Cubs history.