It’s not a surprise – I had it at something like 95% – but it’s actually happening. Willson Contreras is rejecting the Cubs’ Qualifying Offer, and he’s moving on into full-on free agency.
From Jesse Rogers:
Contreras, 30, will head into free agency attached to draft pick compensation, which certainly will not help his market. That said, he is, by far, the best catching bat on the market, and he should be able to find a healthy multi-year deal. When that happens, the Cubs will net a compensatory draft pick after the second round in 2023.
The Qualifying Offer is worth one year and $19.65 million, by the way, so that’s the mark Contreras will be looking to beat. I think the guarantee will be easy enough, though I’m not sure he’ll get that AAV.
More on the Qualifying Offer decisions coming later today, and obviously we’ll keep tabs on Contreras’s free agency from here. I don’t see a reunion with the Cubs happening, but I can’t lie: I still care about where these guys wind up.