This one could make Cubs fans a little uncomfortable. The rebuild of the Chicago Cubs is on and pretty soon Jed Hoyer will be tasked with making a decision on one of the most electrifying Cubs players in recent history: Willson Contreras. Contreras made his big league and Cubs debut in 2016 and he’s been a part of the roster every day since then. However, Contreras is only signed through the end of 2021 though he is arbitration-eligible, and Cubs fans could see another one of their favorite players leave either via trade or free agency in 2023. We know how valuable Contreras is to the Cubs but the organization has other holes to fill that are more important to the long-term success of the organization. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons for a Cubs and Contreras breakup.
Trade Him for Pitching
Every great baseball team needs pitching and the Cubs aren’t any different. With one sure rotation guy, Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs front office needs to find at least two more big arms to sure up their pitching staff to be able to compete for the division and the World Series. There are going to be teams that are looking for a Contreras-Esque catcher and those same teams could be willing to give up either top pitching prospects or major league-ready arms in exchange for one of the league’s best catchers, and if you’re the Cubs, you definitely take pitching.
The Cubs have 90% committed to a full rebuild. They traded away superstars, they have not resigned any of their players to extensions, and have made it clear there is going to be major turnover. With that being said, it may be time the fan base introduces themselves to Miguel Amaya. Amaya, a 6-foot-2 catching prospect in the Cubs system, has been one of the top prospects in the Cubs farm system for some time now and could see the big leagues as soon as 2022. Though hampered by injuries and a slump or two, Amaya has shown signs that he is ready to handle the catching duties and become the next big star in Chicago should his number be called. If the Cubs believe that Amaya is ready for superstardom, Contreras could be shown the door.
If you want a possible glimpse at the type of contract Contreras could get, look at the contact for J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies catcher signed a 5-year, $115.5m contract that made him one of the highest-paid catchers in the league. The case could be made that Contreras deserves just as much, if not more and that seems like a big risk for a 29 year old catcher on a team that has set pretty tight pockets. If the Cubs were to resign Contreras, they could be looking at a steep price to bring him back, and with a big-time prospect waiting in the minors, Contreras’s days could be numbered.
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