Cubs Rumors: Team looking for ‘absurd’ return for Willson Contreras

Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

According to the latest Cubs rumors, Chicago is seeking an ‘absurd’ return in exchange for two-time All-Star backstop Willson Contreras.

With the Winter Meetings in full swing, Cubs Twitter is a dark, desolate place full of horrors and grim-hearted fans, ready to revolt or maybe spend the rest of the week sobbing in the shower as the water beats down on their heavy hearts.

Between the near-endless Kris Bryant trade rumors and the resurgent Willson Contreras rumblings, it’s been a rough few days for Cubs fans. It’s been awhile since we considered ourselves potential sellers this time of year – and perhaps that’s the most glaring issue: most of us see no reason why we should be even this winter. But here we are.

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According to Jeff Passan, teams – namely the San Diego Padres – are saying the team’s asking price in any deal for Contreras is ‘absurd’. As he points out though, that’s not unjustified in the slightest. The Venezuelan native is coming off his second All-Star selection and yet another above-average offensive showing, despite the team’s lackluster finish.

"“San Diego wants Willson Contreras. Talk to San Diego, the ask is absurd,” Passan said. “The ask should be absurd right now.”"

Contreras is coming off 127 wRC+ and 2.7 WAR in 2019, according to Fangraphs. San Diego has a glaring need behind the dish and adding the Chicago catcher to a position player group that already boasts the likes of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eric Hosmer would put the Friars solidly in the postseason picture next season.

But, again – similar to the Bryant rumors, it’s hard to envision a scenario where trading Contreras makes Chicago a better team, at least in the next two years. They could, at least in theory, extend that window by tapping into San Diego’s second-ranked farm system, according to Baseball America (subscription required).

That’s where these deals start making a little more sense. You can’t expect a team like the Rangers to pony up fair value for Bryant given their lackluster farm system and fairly mediocre crop of big league talent. But when you start talking about organizations like Atlanta, San Diego or the Dodgers – things start making a little more sense.

At this point, Theo Epstein should be making absolutely outlandish demands when it comes to both players. We’ve already heard the Cubs plan on waiting out the Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson suitors to take advantage of clubs who miss out on both guys and still need an answer at third base.

It’s unreasonable to believe the team is going to make a trade simply for a trade’s sake. I know that right now there’s a major lack of faith in the front office given everything we’re hearing come out of the Winter Meetings – but this isn’t a group that’s going to dismantle the Cubs for nothing more than bringing chaos to the Friendly Confines.

Next. World Champs thinking big as the Cubs look like sellers. dark

This is a tough stretch. Before the team reports to Sloan Park in February one or more of the team’s most beloved talents could be playing elsewhere. For now, it’s wait-and-see and put your faith in Epstein to make the right call. Whether or not you take comfort in such thoughts is up to you.