One Last-Minute Trade the Cubs Need to Make Before the Deadline
After months of trade rumors swirling, the MLB trade deadline comes into effect when the clock strikes 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday. One selling team that fans should keep an eye on is the Chicago Cubs due to their owning several upcoming free agents that can be moved to replenish the prospect cupboard.
General manager Carter Hawkins must maximize the return for all the players that he can potentially move. One player that the Cubs must trade at the last minute rather than losing him for nothing as a free agent is catcher Willson Contreras.
Cubs Trade Rumors
Contreras' name has been involved in trade rumors for quite some time. The 30-year-old is one of the top available catchers at the deadline and his status as a free agent this offseason means that interested teams likely won't have to gut their farm to land him.
While Contreras' .992 fielding percentage in 2022 highlights his defensive capabilities, his value lies in his productive bat as well. While a good portion of catchers struggles to produce offense, the Venezuelan backstop has 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and 51 runs scored in 86 games.
A team like the New York Mets would be a perfect fit for Contreras. The catcher trio of Tomás Nido, Patrick Mazeika and James McCann have struggled offensively and with health this year, so bringing in Contreras would be an improvement. Plus, his 2016 World Series ring is something that contenders highly value.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres are also interested in Contreras. Their main priority is going after Washington Nationals superstar Juan Soto, but things could change throughout the day.
The Padres already gave up several pieces to acquire Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader on Monday, so time will tell what they're willing to give up in a potential Contreras trade.
Due to Contreras' status as one of the top catchers on the trade market, the Mets and any other team remotely interested in him will have some stiff competition. Nevertheless, competition yields the best return imaginable most of the time, which can help the Cubs build for the future in this case.
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