Anyone else pick up on the very quick pushback against Jed Hoyer’s pushback on those Willson Contreras rumors? Like, lots of reporting that very quickly sought to make sure people weren’t thinking Contreras DEFINITELY wasn’t EVER getting traded? Usually, that means it’s a message someone wants to get out, and it was a signal to me that I should probably say something here.
I started the discussion here, and then Michael tracked a lot of it here in the Stove. Then there was even more of it in Patrick Mooney’s latest last night (from which we discussed the Jason Castro rumor), and it feels like the right take (which is also what I said after his comments): what Hoyer was pushing back against is the idea that the Cubs are out there working on a specific Contreras deal or deals, and something is about to happen. That is not accurate. Nor is it accurate than any deal involving Contreras would be about money. So the conclusion here is that the situation is something more than “we’re always listening,” but something less than “OMG a deal is about to go down.” In other words: yeah, trade talks are probably happening, but that doesn’t mean a trade will happen, or will happen soon.
“But there is a lot of industry buzz about Contreras potentially being the next big-name player to go as part of this long-term rebuilding plan. Just because a deal is not imminent does not mean that Contreras is off-limits in trade talks ….
“The Cubs could also market Contreras to any teams that come up empty in the pursuit of J.T. Realmuto, the All-Star catcher who looms as one of the first major decisions for the Dave Dombrowski era in Philadelphia.”
Does that sound like a guy whose heard Contreras definitely won’t be traded? Do these guys:
While Jed Hoyer called reports of the Cubs "extensively shopping" Willson Contreras "fictional" I wouldn't take that as a sign he's not available or won't be moved. More an indication that nothing is imminent and no substantive talks have taken place on WC in last couple weeks.
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) December 30, 2020
Hoyer says a 'report' from yesterday that Willson Contreras is being shopped is 'fictional'
Could be splitting hairs/words because the Cubs have talked with teams about him a lot, not just now but in the recent past. But nothing is imminent.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) December 30, 2020
The point here, I think, is that neither the original Bob Nightengale report about “extensively shopping” Contreras, which had an air of imminence about it, nor anything you see out there about the Cubs definitely not trading Contreras is quite accurate. Clearly, the Cubs are entertaining offers on anyone, and clearly, they want to add significantly to the farm system this year if they can. Jed Hoyer was not shy about that part, even as he pushed back on the Nightengale report, specifically. And if you’re looking to add significant impact talent to your farm system right now, well, there aren’t really many better trade pieces on the roster than Contreras. That’s just a – complimentary! – reality.
I guess I just don’t want people thinking the Contreras rumors in general are gone and over and there’s nothing to worry about. There are no signs that a trade is close, but there are PLENTY of signs that the Cubs would like to pick up some impact prospects in a deal for Contreras if that offer comes along.