Nobody not named Jed Hoyer knows what the Chicago Cubs will do over the next two months. The team enters Memorial Day weekend just one half-game back of the rival Cardinals in the National League Central and a plethora of key players poised to hit free agency at year’s end.
So I took a crack at three possible moves Chicago could make between now and July 30, two of which have the team selling and one that would send a clear message that they’re all-in one last time.
Chicago Cubs: Trade Willson Contreras to the San Diego Padres
The mere thought of sending Willson Contreras to the Padres is likely enough to make plenty of folks reading this post visibly angry given the sentiment San Diego fleeced the Cubs in the Yu Darvish deal last winter.
But given the fact the Padres have a .571 OPS from the catcher position this season, you can bet that AJ Preller has his eye on upgrades behind the dish. They’re not looking for a long-term answer given top prospect Luis Campusano is waiting in the wings, but we saw early this year that he’s definitely not ready for big league action.
We’ve been focused on the likes of Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel – but Contreras is one of the best offensive catchers in baseball and has that extra year of control the other four lack.
If you’re one of those folks still angry about the return in the Darvish deal, this could be the perfect opportunity for the Chicago Cubs to snatch away one of the Padres’ blue chip talents. The biggest detractor in such a deal? Chicago already has a major depth issue at the big league level behind the plate and losing Contreras would be devastating.