There has been no indication that the Chicago Cubs and long-time catcher – and impending free agent – Willson Contreras are engaging in talks to avoid their coming arbitration hearing in June, much less talks about a long-term extension. I’m not among those who would say ANY DEAL for Willson Contreras MUST get done, but I do have serious questions about how the Cubs plan to handle the catcher spot next year without Contreras, and do think there’s a deal there to be had that could make sense for both sides.
In other words, I kinda just want to hear that there could be or have been or will be talks. Just talks.
Not every impending free agent is cool with negotiating in-season, though, so maybe that’s a factor at this point?
Nope! For his part, Contreras would be fine with negotiating with the Cubs in-season. From NBC:
If the Cubs have been listening, they haven’t been sharing any of their thoughts with Contreras, who said on Monday that it’s still crickets from the front office on the extension front — as well as his 2022 salary status, which is to be decided by an arbitration panel in three weeks.
Not that Contreras has shut down any lines of communication. He’d gladly embrace extension talks with the Cubs anytime they want to call, even during a season in which the only big-league catcher with an OPS over .700 just boosted his to .906.
“Sure. That doesn’t bother me. We’re already going to have a hearing soon anyway,” said Contreras …. “We’re going to have to go through a hearing, and whatever happens there is going to happen, so it doesn’t bother me at all.”
It really seems like a conversation worth having, right? Especially before you get into trade season? Especially for a guy who has become a leader on the team, and who is a top-tier bat at a defense-first position?
In the spring, Contreras said that if a deal didn’t come together with the Cubs, it would be a dream come true to reach free agency after all he’s put into the sport. Can’t begrudge him that, even if I would love to see he and the Cubs work out a three or four-year deal. We’ll see if they ever even engage in talks.
Meanwhile, our friends at Obvious Shirts – exceptionally big Willy fans – are sending a message:
🔥LIMITED!🔥 By popular demand, show your support for the heartbeat of the organization. Only available for pre-order. Won’t be available once the pre-order ends on June 1! #ExtendWillsonContreras
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) May 19, 2022