What happens with Willson Contreras this offseason remains one of the biggest internal storylines for the Cubs. We’ve discussed, at some length, the situation, which features the possibilities of an extension, a trade, or just going into next year to see what happens (once again, the least desirable of the three possibilities).
The long-time Cubs catcher, who’ll turn 30 in May, is a free agent after next season. The best outcome still seems like getting a reasonable extension in place this offseason, but we know how extension talks have gone before.
In the meantime, some confirmation from Contreras that he’s still hoping to stick around, particularly if the Cubs make an effort to improve the team this offseason (via The Athletic):
“It’s really important [to improve the team]. This is the only team I’ve been playing for 13 years. I would love to stay here for sure. Do I want to go to a different city, a different team? No. But I’m not thinking about it right now. I’m just seeing what the future holds for us and hopefully it’s the best …. For sure I thought I was going to get traded at the deadline, but that didn’t happen. That gave me a lot more confidence that I’ll be staying. When there’s two years in a row where you hear your name in trade talks and the trade deadline comes, it’s not easy to not think about it. I’m still here and I’m happy to be here. I’m looking forward to staying here ….
“I love playing for the Chicago Cubs. But it’s hard to accept going from a winning team to a losing team. That’s the hard part. Now we have to make adjustments, go to the free-agent market, get some players, move things around and have another solid team.”
From Willson’s lips to Jed’s and Tom’s ears.
And some confirmation from his longest-remaining teammate that, yeah, the guys want Willy to stick around, too:
Here’s Kyle Hendricks, on whether the Cubs should extend Willson Contreras beyond 2022… pic.twitter.com/d6HYr1lMx8
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 3, 2021
Hendricks, of course, was the only core player with whom the Cubs were able to work out a long-term extension in his younger days. It would be fine with me if he and Contreras were able to stick together for a few more years, especially if – as Contreras suggests – the Cubs do a good job adding to the roster this offseason.