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When the Chicago Cubs failed to trade Willson Contreras at the deadline, they essentially guaranteed losing him for next to nothing. Signing with the Cardinals would be a worst-case scenario.
Contreras is on the last year of his contract, and is set to be a free agent at the end of this season. An obvious rental target for a contending team at the trade deadline, no suitor matched the Cubs asking price, with leaks suggesting Jed Hoyer’s demands far exceeded what most rival teams wanted to pay for the 30-year-old catcher.
The Cubs would receive a comp pick in the upcoming MLB Draft if he signs elsewhere, assuming they make Contreras a qualifying offer (which he then does not accept).
St. Louis makes a ton of sense for Contreras on the surface. Despite being a hated Cubs rival, Yadier Molina is retiring at the end of the year and St. Louis will have money to spend on a new backstop.
Cubs should be weary of Willson Contreras signing with Cardinals
David Kaplan, a Cubs insider and Chicago radio host, says he’s heard the Cards have interest:
“(Willson Contreras) obviously has the respect of a lot of his teammates, he’s a 3x All-Star, he’s got the best arm in the National League, and I’ve already heard from people connected around the Cardinals that I know very well that they absolutely are going to be in play on Willson Contreras,” Kaplan said.
This, quite clearly, would be the worst possible option for the Cubs. It would be the ultimate lesson for a front office that should’ve gotten what they could for Contreras while they had the chance. Instead, they risk losing Contreras for nothing more than a comp pick to their biggest rival.
Contreras in Cardinals colors would be tough to watch for any die-hard Cubs supporter. Yet, assuming the Cards interest is real, it lines up perfectly.