Chicago Cubs: Will Willson Contreras be behind the plate at Wrigley in 2022?
A couple years ago, and maybe even last offseason, the Cubs were no doubt hoping that Miguel Amaya would be having his cup of coffee in Chicago at this point and then be ready to take on a more substantial role on the 2022 team.
Unfortunately, after a middling start to the season in the minors and an injury that has had him out for the last couple months, it’s possible, Amaya doesn’t even get to the bigs until 2023. And, while that could still line up with a Contreras exit to test free agency after next season, that’s not really what anyone would bet on at this point.
So, the questions stands, what do the Cubs do with Contreras? Clearly, the guy is now the emotional leader of the squad with Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo no longer in the picture, although their hasty jettison also paints a hazy picture for Contreras himself. With no extension in place, how is Contreras any different than those other two, especially heading into his own walk year?
My guess is the Cubs will try and extend him, if for no other reason than he’s here, he’ll be a positive leader in the clubhouse, and he’s still one of the best offensive catchers in baseball when healthy. However, if Opening Day gets closer and closer and the Cubs still have not extended him, the writing is on the wall, as it was with the guys offloaded in the most recent midseason fire sale.
As noted, so much depends upon the CBA and changing landscape of the league/team this year, but it’s sure to be a busy and interesting offseason for the Cubs, if nothing else.