Chicago Cubs: Plotting a Willson Contreras – New York Yankees trade

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Hot Stove is ablaze, which means the rumors will only continue to swirl as we prepare ourselves for a new calendar year and the 2022 Major League Baseball season. For the Chicago Cubs, that means only one thing – the future of Willson Contreras.

As our fearless leader Jake Misener discussed recently, the Cubs should heavily shop Contreras, not getting caught behind next summer. In terms of the business side, the Cubs should do what they can to squeeze every ounce of value out of Contreras in a deal. In terms of biases, it would break my heart to see his passion and exuberance reside elsewhere, and I’d much rather see the team work a long-term deal to keep him in Chicago.

Last month, Jim Bowden of The Athletic proposed an exciting trade that would send Contreras to the New York Yankees and return some top-tier young talent to the Cubs, along with the Bronx Bombers’ current backstop, Gary Sánchez.

Chicago Cubs: The end of an era and the start of something new

At first glance, a trade proposal such as this one from Bowden does not give much credence to who Contreras is to the city of Chicago nor what he’s brought to the Cubs over the past half-decade. However, like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Báez, Contreras represented the most incredible and most exciting decade of Cubs baseball in the franchise’s history.

First and foremost, baseball is a business. Players and fans know that at some point, all good things come to an end, and for the Cubs, that happens by dealing Contreras. So now it is time to talk business.

This past season, Deivi García ranked as the number two overall prospect in the Yankees system. Signed for $200,000 as a 16-year-old in 2015, García rose swiftly through the ranks.

Most of this is due to his devastating curveball and wicked changeup, both of which landed as 60-grade pitches. He also carries an above-average fastball and a nasty slider to round his repertoire out. It was rated as the best slider in the entire Yankees system. García struggled to a 6.48 ERA in two spot starts in 2021 after posting a 4.98 ERA across six starts in 2020.

In his time between High-A to Triple-A in 2019, the 22-year-old finished with a 33.9 percent strikeout rate. He kept a respectable 22.6 percent rate in his first big league trip. By far and away from the gem of this proposal, García would effectively bring a unique raw talent to a budding organization.

The second part of the prospect equation is 21-year-old Yoendrys Gomez. Gomez signed with the Yankees in 2016 and ranked as the number eight overall prospect in the system. His devastating fastball/curveball combo has led to a large number, including a 30.2 percent strikeout rate at Low

His fastball runs up to 95 mph and still does have plenty of quality time to develop. It seems Gomez would be a nasty fit for the bullpen in the future and could one day close a la Aroldis Chapman back when Chapman was trying to be a starter. He would also help to stabilize a talented young rotation.

Gary Sánchez is the final cog, and the most important as adding him to the equation is the only way this deal would gain any traction. Sánchez is fine and would be a much-needed placeholder while Miguel Amaya recovers from Tommy John surgery next year.

Does this deal get done? Probably not. However we could, and probably should use this as a jumping-off point to land a value such as this. Contreras had one of his best years in 2021 and is a free agent the season after next, leading to even more momentum gaining traction.

The Cubs should not trade Contreras and instead sign him to a long-term deal. Chicago will trade Contreras and get pennies on the dollar because that is how it seems fair. Neither one is fair, and who is to say this wouldn’t go through, especially if two of the guys you have in return are top ten in a prestigious organization.

Next. Cubs content with sitting on sidelines in free agency. dark

Contreras will most likely fail to fetch two top ten prospects as a 29-year-old himself. However, a deal seems almost imminent and, if this is the end, it was one heck of a ride for Cubs fans and players alike.