Chicago Cubs: 3 teams that are a perfect fit for Willson Contreras
Chicago Cubs: Willson Contreras trade destination #3: Cleveland Indians
Although Cleveland is eight games back in the AL Central behind the White Sox, they are only 4 1/2 back in the Wild Card race. One of the teams Cleveland is behind in that race is Seattle, who currently has an underwhelming -50 run differential and would make a shocking postseason participant if they can somehow pull it off.
Why would a trade to Cleveland for Contreras be significant? There are a couple factors at play here.
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For one, had Shane Bieber not missed the last month, the team knows it would more than likely be in a better position than it is currently. Although still likely weeks away, along with Aaron Civale, Cleveland has had Zach Plesac return. Yet to find his form in 2021 due to an injury that cost him a month and a half, Plesac is a strong piece for Cleveland to have back.
The point of all this is that when Cleveland is healthy, their rotation has been solid. They know if they stay healthy they would likely at least be in a wild card spot. This is a better team than what their record shows on paper. Likewise, they know once healthy again, they will be able to make a strong push with the right pieces.
Another reason a team like Cleveland could be in on a catcher of Contreras’ caliber, is both catchers on Cleveland have vastly underperformed to this point in the season. Austin Hedges is currently slashing .149/.201/.246 and owns a -0.2 WAR on the season with 20 hits in 134 at-bats. Aside from Hedges, Roberto Perez is currently slashing .163/.272/.375 with 13 hits in 80 at-bats. He owns a 0.2 WAR on the season.
Obviously the Indians will need more offensive production from the back end of their line up if they want to see more consistency at the dish. With Contreras’ heart and passion to win, he would be a solid spark to any team. Especially a team in dire need of efficiency at his position.