Wild Trade Proposal Season Continues - Contreras for Luzardo?

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Wild Trade Proposal Season Continues – Contreras for Luzardo?

Chicago Cubs

I’m willing to read about any trade proposal a national writer wants to throw out there, and we talked earlier this month about a wild Willson Contreras trade proposal with the Mariners. Like I said at the time, you mostly have to treat them as little more than entertainment. Unless it’s based on sourced information, the most you could possibly take away is a vague sense of how one writer is valuing a set of players on the trade market. The utility there is low. So, entertainment is what you get.

To that end, at least MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince keeps his tongue in his cheek a bit while proposing some crazy trades, including one involving Willson Contreras:

The Contreras proposal is very simple: he goes to the Marlins for lefty Jesus Luzardo.

“The Cubs might have money to spend this winter, but if they can’t come to terms on an extension with Contreras, they have to seriously consider taking advantage of the weak free-agent catcher’s market and moving him to a motivated club. The Marlins could be one such club, as they are on the hunt for offense in multiple spots (catcher included) and have the rare commodity that is a pitching surplus. They just acquired Luzardo a few months ago in exchange for two months’ worth of Starling Marte. To then flip Luzardo for a full season of one of the most productive catchers in the game would be a really nice use of assets.

Luzardo struggled mightily last year, including with Miami (6.44 ERA in 12 starts). But he has significant upside, and a team like the Cubs that is trying to get controllable talent any way it can might be able to coax it out of him.”

To be sure, Luzardo does have significant upside if he can get healthy and mechanically sound. There’s a reason he was a tip-top pitching prospect in baseball just a couple years ago. But there’s also a reason the A’s were willing to trade a former top 10 prospect in the game for a two-month rental of Starling Marte at the trade deadline. The last two years have been a disaster for Luzardo, 24, who is already going to be arbitration eligible after next season.

Would I be totally on board with the Cubs acquiring Luzardo as a buy-low, reclaim-that-talent type guy? Absolutely. He can throw in the upper 90s with a wipeout slider, and has ace-level upside if you get him right. I’d love to see the Cubs have him in the organization.

But should the Cubs be trading Willson Contreras for that chance? Oh come on now. No way. *IF* the Cubs decided to deal Contreras, they could do much better, especially in a market so bereft of starting catcher talent.

To that end, you are reminded that the Cubs are likely to shop Contreras if they cannot extend him, and the Marlins have been connected to Contreras many times over the years. There’s at least some sensibility there. I’m just saying that Contreras – even for just one season at an Arb3 price – is worth more than a flyer on Luzardo, especially since you can’t exactly lock him into a rotation spot for the full year and count on results. (Also, if the Cubs do go that route, they’re gonna have to pick up MULTIPLE catchers this offseason – at a time when there are hardly any quality ones available – which in turn makes it even harder to be competitive in 2022.)

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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.