With Alex Avila a free agent, the Chicago Cubs will need to fill the role of backup catcher in 2018. So, who does that become?
The Chicago Cubs have their catcher of the future. His name is Willson Contreras, and the 25-year-old has the chance to become a special player on the North Side.
After making his debut during the summer of 2016, Contreras proceeded to hit 33 home runs and drive in 109 runs while slashing .278/.356/.494 in 193 games. In addition to an excellent slash line, Contreras owns a career 120 OPS+, further driving home the point that the youngster has a bright future ahead.
With the primary catcher’s role filled, the Cubs now must find a suitable replacement if Contreras gets injured or is unable to play at some point in the future.
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During Contreras’ tenure with the Cubs, there has been a revolving door on the depth chart behind the Cubs’ young stud. From Miguel Montero to Alex Avila to Rene Rivera and David Ross, the Cubs have leaned toward filling the role with a veteran presence.
Now, however, the Cubs may be forced to fill the role with less experienced players. Alex Avila is currently a free agent and would likely come with too hefty a price tag to sign as a back-up. In addition to that, Rene Rivera may also be out of the picture for the Cubs due to his underwhelming offensive numbers over the years (.220/.271/.349 career slash line).
With those two out of the picture, let’s look at a few other options.