After compiling three All-Star appearances and a World Series championship across seven big-league seasons on the North Side, Willson Contreras' offseason blockbuster deal with the rival St. Louis Cardinals put a bitter end to a bright era of Cubs baseball that saw three straight NLCS appearances and a World Series win for the first time in more than a century.
While some Cubs fans may still be taking the separation with an ounce of pain, it's safe to say that Contreras has made himself feel at home in the 314.
"For me, I like this better. It's a better organization. It's the old school way, which I love," Contreras said to Bally Sports Midwest when asked to compare the two organizations he's been a part of.
Contreras also alluded to "The Cardinal Way", a villainous phrase to Cubs fans that invokes the long-standing shortcomings the North Siders have had to the Redbirds throughout the years.
"Ever since I got here it's been everything just one way. The Cardinal way," Contreras said to Bally Sports Midwest.
Contreras inked a five-year, $87.5M contract with the Cardinals this offseason after two straight seasons of playing through non-stop trade rumors.
The Cubs have openly taken a defense-first approach to catching for the upcoming season, with a platoon of Yan Gomes and Tucker Barnhart expected to work with the North Siders' pitching staff barring injury.
Contreras finished his Cubs career with 734 games played, totaling 117 home runs, 365 RBI and a .256/.349/.459 slash line, while going 18-for-78 with three home runs in 30 career playoff games.