The Miami Marlins Have Reportedly Talked to the Chicago Cubs About Willson Contreras (UPDATE: Marlins Turn Out Pockets)

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The Miami Marlins Have Reportedly Talked to the Chicago Cubs About Willson Contreras (UPDATE: Marlins Turn Out Pockets)

Chicago Cubs

In the past week, in addition to the buzz about Kris Bryant picking up considerable steam, you also had two specific teams – the Angels and the Phillies – mentioned in connection to Willson Contreras, who has otherwise been the subject of rumors for a good long while. And although the Cubs want it known that they aren’t out there shopping Contreras, it’s also quite clear that they are at a stage where if a great offer comes along, they’re probably going to take it.

So, that is all to say, I would characterize the “buzz” as picking up steam on both Bryant and Contreras at this point. And now there’s even more, because a third team is connected to Contreras.

From the typically-quite-plugged-in Craig Mish:

There’s not a ton there to go off of, though Mish isn’t always churning out a ton of random one-off rumors. So his mention of the talks with the Cubs is notable, and obviously the specificity there on Contreras.

The Marlins currently have Jorge Alfaro and Chad Wallach splitting time behind the plate, so there’s clearly room there for improvement. Although Alfaro was once a top prospect, the bat has flatlined around average-ish for a catcher (below average overall), and he’s had just one great defensive season (incidentally, his last year in Philadelphia, when he would’ve been working with catching guru Craig Driver, now of the Cubs). Wallach is just kind of an acceptable back-up. Which, hey, is fine. But again, I’m just saying the Marlins would clearly get a big boost by adding Contreras.

As Mish says, yes, of course the Marlins could put together a compelling trade package for the Cubs *if* they were looking to pick up prospects (I’m going to assume that the Marlins young big league pitchers would probably be off the table). With about five prospects generally considered in the top 100 (and that doesn’t include Sixto Sanchez, who technically still qualifies), it’s a very strong system at the top. Like most of these rumors, I don’t want to dig in too deep on hypotheticals, and instead would just offer that the Marlins would be a great fit as a trade partner *IF* the preferred return was a package of prospects. And, based on Jed Hoyer’s comments about being opportunistic in trades and looking toward the future, that’s probably the idea.

We’ll keep an eye on this. Like I’ll keep saying every time this comes up: yes, the Cubs are deep at catcher overall in the organization and could get a ton of value for Contreras at the moment. But moving him – a top three catcher in the game with two years of control – would have to be about getting a monster return, and absolutely should have zero regard for financial considerations.

UPDATE: The Marlins are doing that thing where they turn out their pockets and shrug their shoulders:

The Marlins currently have a payroll in the $60 million range, so you’ll spare me the concerns about a guy whose salary might wind up in the $7 million range. Most likely, this is the Marlins finding an angle to push back on the trade ask, given that they know the Cubs aren’t looking to spend a lot of cash either.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.