What Should the Cubs do with Willson Contreras?

With the trade deadline fast approaching, and the season looking to be lost, what should the Cubs do with Catcher Willson Contreras?

The entirety of the Cubs 2022 season to this point has done nothing but bring up questions about the direction of the clubs future. With this being the first full year after the departure of key contributors to the 2016 World Series team, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, & Javier Baez after all being traded mid season last year, Willson Contreras was the only who remained.

While the combo of Rizzo, Bryant, & Baez may have been bigger stars during the 2016 season, it was clear that Contreras was the much more valuable asset in 2022 and explains why the Cubs decided to keep him for the remainder of the season and he has become a fan favorite.  With his future in the organization uncertain, Al Yellon from Bleed Cubbie Blue, did a poll asking fans whether or not they wanted to see Contreras extended, or traded.

#Cubs Reacts survey results: Should Willson Contreras be traded or extended? The survey answer might not be what actually happens. #MLB https://t.co/CBmuQfqqAy

The overwhelming majority of fans wanted the Cubs to keep Contreras, however that does not mean that he should be considered off limits to other teams. Contreras has stormed out to a sizzling hot start and will have the best first half of his entire career this season thus far.

While Contreras has seen tremendous success the Cubs themselves have been scuffling, coming in to July 6th with a 33-48 record and an almost insurmountable 13 game deficit in the NL Central.

With the place in the standings that the Cubs find themselves in they would be foolish to not trade Willson Contreras.

While some may argue that with some of the young core pieces the Cubs have been developing such as Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, and Christopher Morel, that resigning Contreras would be advantageous, it is still risky.

Willson Contreras has had a history of hamstring issues and his value has never been higher and will more than likely never be as high as it is right now again, and as Andrew Tito described in an article earlier this year “The Cubs will want an arm and a leg.”  He provides well above average offensive production while playing a position that teams could only hope to get any offense from at all. In short you don’t find catchers that can hit like Contreras and teams dream about having a player like him in their lineup behind the plate everyday.

With all of those factors in place teams like the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, or others will be willing to pay top dollar in order to have Contreras on their roster to help make a playoff push, especially with the shallow depth at the catcher position.

If dealt the return for Willson Contreras would be considerable, likely commanding multiple of a teams top prospects which the Cubs would be able to add to their farm system continuing to build for the future.

While it is hard for a team to move on from someone who has been such a key contributor for so many years it is in the best interest of the franchise to move on from Contreras and focus on building the next young core that can hopefully get the Cubs right back into contention.

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