José Quintana recommended Cardinals to Cubs' Willson Contreras

Quintana gave Contreras 'strong recommendation' of Cardinals originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Willson Contreras not only reached out to José Quintana about the Cardinals — as he told NBC Sports Chicago's Gordon Wittenmyer — but Quintana provided him a "strong recommendation," according to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat.

Contreras is set to become a free agent for the first time this coming offseason, and the Cardinals are expected to approach him with longtime catcher Yadier Molina planning to retire after this season.

RELATED: Why Cubs' Contreras ready to answer if Cardinals call

Contreras told Wittenmyer recently he has not talked to Molina but has spoke to Quintana — a close friend and his Cubs teammate from 2017-20 who was traded to St. Louis at the deadline this summer.

“He said it’s a really good team and he likes it there,” Contreras told Wittenmyer. “But we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Contreras has spent his entire 14-year professional career in the Cubs organization, including seven seasons in the big leagues.

His future has been an ongoing storyline all season, and after shopping him leading up to the trade deadline, the Cubs did not move him.

Wednesday likely was his last game in a Cubs uniform.

MORE: Contreras 'nostalgic' after Cubs career reaches likely end

“This is a spot that I wanted to be since I was a kid, and I did everything I could to reach free agency,” Contreras said. “So it makes me proud.

“At the same time it makes me a little nostalgic to leave my team. But everything happens for a reason, and I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

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