Is Willson Contreras on his way out of Chicago? Here’s why the Cubs should extend him instead
There are only three Chicago Cubs players still on the active roster from when they won the World Series back in 2016. Four if you still count manager David Ross.
After trading away most of the core this past season with Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo gone, Willson Contreras found himself still on the roster and Chicago’s best player this season.
But Contreras may not be here for long either if the Cubs plans continue. As of now, here have been no reports, or even rumors of any potential extension talks for Contreras at the moment. This leads to the question of why are the Cubs not looking to extend their catcher in the Contreras?
The Cubs starting catcher in Contreras is only 30 years old, so the front office really cannot say they are not looking to extend him based off age. The front office also cannot blame it on him not producing as Contreras is having another good year in 2022 so far. Heading into Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates Contreras is hitting .283, 5 home runs, 14 RBI’s, and an OPS of .906 through the first month and a half of the season.
Contreras had a very good start to the series against the Pirates on Monday going 2 for 5 in the Cubs 9-0 route. Wade Miley picked up his first career win in a Cubs uniform as well. Contreras wasted no time starting off the bottom of the first with a leadoff double. He then came up again in the first as the Cubs batted around to hit a grand slam to make it 8-0 after the first inning.
Willson Contreras' 100th career home run comes in the grandest of fashions. pic.twitter.com/LRF1GaGg9M
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 17, 2022
An emotional Willson Contreras following the game
It is never going to be a bad night when you hit your 100th career home run, plus finish with 4 RBI’s on one swing of the bat. That is exactly what Contreras did on Monday night at Wrigley Field. Contreras seemed to get a little emotional in the dugout after the milestone. He is a player that always has played hard and wears his heart on his sleeve. An interesting fact about Contreras is he now has four career grand slams with three of them happening in the first inning.
THE HEARTBEAT OF THE GODDAMN CHICAGO CUBS pic.twitter.com/Q0Vh3d7WoC
— DOM (@DOM_Frederic) May 17, 2022
The Cubs did sign veteran catcher Yan Gomes to a two-year contract this past offseason, but he is not going to be the long term catcher on the north side of Chicago. Gomes is already 34 years old at the moment, and seems to be on the back end of his career.
Bringing in Gomes allows Ross to rotate both catchers behind the plate. With the designated hitter now in the NL the Cubs can keep Contreras in the lineup with saving his legs for later in the season at the same time.
One of the Cubs top prospects in their farm system, Miguel Amaya had to have Tommy John surgery to repair his throwing elbow. Amaya will have to miss all of the 2022 season which really throws a wrench in the catching plans. This is another reason to extend Contreras and build around him as there is no clear future catcher waiting in the wings.
The Cubs definitely have the money to extend him. Coming into the year the Cubs were 15th in payroll in the MLB. That is unacceptable from an ownership standpoint that has stated over and over that they are doing all they can do to put a winner on the field.
Keeping Willson Contreras proves they want to win sooner than later
A good start to proving they are all about winning is by extending Contreras. Build around him for the foreseeable future. Could the Cubs get an absolute haul of prospects for Contreras? Absolutely, but at the same time why not keep him around and actually try and win? Building around everyday players like Seiya Suzuki, and Contreras is a good start.
We were told by the front office that this would not be a full tear down like in the first rebuild in the few years before 2015. Last July we saw the Cubs trade away some big time names. How about this time around you start to build a contender with your starting backstop in Contreras included in it.
Who knows, maybe the Cubs front office will get an extension done with Contreras in the near future. If they do not extend Contreras though he will be extremely missed on the north side of Chicago for the rest of his career.
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