Chicago Cubs: 3 possible trade candidates heading into the winter

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: 3 trade candidates this winter – 1. Willson Contreras

Willson Contreras falls under the category of “you absolutely must not trade this man under any circumstances.” Although, the facts are pretty set in stone. Contreras will be in a contract year entering 2022 and therefore a decision must be made if you’re a representative of the front office. It’s really simple actually. Much like Bryant, Rizzo and Baez before him, you must either extend Contreras or trade him now before his value goes down more and more as the trade deadline comes about in 2022.

For obvious reasons, a team would rather have a full year of Contreras rather than a half year at the deadline and thus, Contreras would return a sweeter deal now only if the Cubs don’t extend him which will be ridiculous if they don’t. Contreras is a quality defender with a fireball for an arm and a bat that can do critical damage at the most clutch of times as seen many times in the past.

For his career, Contreras has slashed .259/.349/.458 and earned All-Star honors twice since being called up in 2016. He is the first Cubs catcher to receive back-to-back starting All-Star nods since Gaby Hartnett in 1936 and 1937. That shows you just how rare a player like this truly is, and how invaluable he can be, as well.

That will be the main reason teams come calling regarding Contreras this winter. After the Cubs didn’t extend Rizzo, Baez or Bryant, the latter of which was an All-Star himself this year and all of whom have plenty of hardware in their trophy cases, it begs the question: is Chicago going to let Contreras go, too?

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If Bryant – a former Rookie of the Year, MVP and three-time All-Star – didn’t do enough in the eyes of management to receive an extension, what does that say about how they feel about Contreras?Whatever happens with the fan favorite, the Cubs must know the return for him would be noteworthy, but the fact remains: All-Star catchers don’t come around every year. They need to pass on any offers regardless of how valuable of a trade chip he becomes.