The Chicago Cubs have traded Yu Darvish, all but signaling a Cubs rebuild. With a rebuild in mind, it is time to revisit the perfect Willson Contreras trade, take a look back at part one and part two for more trade options.
The Chicago #Cubs, after trading Yu Darvish and non-tendering Kyle Schwarber, are now extensively shopping catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras is projected to earn at least $5 million and perhaps as much as $7.4 million in salary arbitration, per @mlbtraderumors
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 29, 2020
In the first Perfect Willson Contreras trade, the young catcher was heading to Colorado which could still be on the table. In Part Two though, Contreras would head to San Diego, but since Victor Caratini was sent to the Padres in the Darvish deal this trade is off the table.
The Perfect Willson Contreras Trade: Where Next?
At this point, it is hard to gauge his best fit while star catcher J.T. Realmuto has not made his free agency decision. Many teams could be vying for Contreras" services, teams such as the New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, Washington Nationals, Detroit Tigers, and Tampa Bay Rays. Rumors say the Mets and Rays are heavy in talks with Realmuto, leaving three viable options. Let us look into what the Angels, Nationals, and Tigers bring to the table.
The Angels have a strong prospect system. With the likes of Jo Adell, Reid Detmers, Jack Kochanowicz, and Packy Naughton, therefore, they should be able to put an appealing package together to construct the perfect Willson Contreras trade, the package would not involve Mike Trout; sorry Cubs fans.
As for the 2019 World Series champions, with hopes of getting back to the promised land, they could be looking to unload a few of their many pitching prospects. eight of the Nationals top ten prospects are pitchers, to expand their top eight are all pitchers. The Cubs need pitching more than ever after dealing Darvish, why not stock up on young pitchers? The Washington Nationals prospects pool could be the deepest for pitching.
Now for the Tigers. The Tigers are nowhere near competing at this point in time, although they need a catcher they likely are not looking to deal a top prospect at this point, therefore eliminating them from the perfect Willson Contreras trade sweepstakes.
The Perfect Willson Contreras Trade
If the Cubs are truly ready to start their rebuild they should turn their sights to the Washington Nationals. The Washington Nationals prospects poll is full of pitching prospects, which just happens to be the Cubs" biggest need, that being until Contreras is dealt.
The Cubs should be able to reel in three or four quality prospects for one of baseball"s best catchers. The first being Nationals" third-ranked prospect Cole Henry. The 21-year old right-hander has one of if not the best curveball of the Washington Nationals prospects. Currently, his fastball sits in the low-mid 90s, with room to improve as he gets stronger.
The Cubs get Henry who could morph into a future mid-rotation started, now throw in Nationals eighth-ranked prospect Matt Cornin. In 2018 as the closer for the Arkansas Razorbacks Cornin set the school"s save record with 14 saves. His fastball sits in the low-mid 90s as well and he could prove to one day a legitimate MLB closer.
So far, the Cubs have added two of the Nationals top ten prospects in Cole Henry and Matt Cornin, adding two more pitchers should be enough for pitchers but as is the Nationals will need to sweeten the pot. The Nationals could add 18-year old outfielder Dante Marte to entice the Cubs a little more. Marte"s physicality and athleticism have drawn many comparisons to the likes of an NFL running back. Although he needs to improve his batting he is only 18-years of age with lots of time to do so.
The fourth and final piece to round out the third part of the perfect Willson Contreras trade would be a band-aid of some sort for the Cubs. That being catcher Raudy Read. The 27-year old catcher would man full-time duties behind the plate until Cubs prospect Miguel Amaya is ready to take the reigns.
The Cubs would acquire two high-class pitching prospects in Henry and Cornin, as well as a young outfielder that may be able to make an impact in few years, round that out with a Read who will take over for Contreras this could be the perfect Willson Contreras trade. Four Washington Nationals prospects should be enough to get this done.
Cubs fans may not be mentally ready for a rebuild, but if any fanbase can handle it, it is Cubs nation.
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