So, all of a sudden, Willson Contreras and the Tampa Bay Rays were rapidly connected this morning in three separate reports.
Boom, boom, boom:
So, what to make of it when a Rays reporter, a national reporter, and a Mets reporter all make this connection on the same morning? Well, to me, the only logical conclusions are either (1) it’s simply very legit and possibly close, or (2) someone REALLY wants this out there.
I’m trying to think of the reason for number two. I guess it could be the Cubs trying to apply pressure to some other team? Feels a little transparent, but I suppose it’s possible. Gut says it’s more likely that the Cubs are setting up a Padres alternative as best they can, and maybe – if the Padres get Soto! – the Cubs are “close” to a deal with the Rays.
It’s interesting to think about some pieces the Cubs have had interest in before: Cole Wilcox is now a Rays pitching prospect (the Cubs wanted him back when he was with the Padres, but he’s rehabbing from Tommy John), and Tyler Glasnow is also rehabbing from Tommy John with one more year of control next year. Just thinking out loud about some connections, and guys the Rays might be willing to move. There could easily be many different paths.
Ope, and for good measure, Topkin just said it again:
(Don’t worry about Brett Phillips being a key part of the Willson Contreras return. He wouldn’t be. The Cubs might pick him up, because whatever, he’s fun and nice and a great clubhouse guy, but he wouldn’t be the focus by even a remote stretch. I think that was just a convenient way for Topkin to make multiple points.)