Willson Contreras isn’t thrilled with the Chicago Cubs right now
By Jake Misener
Willson Contreras is a winner. He has been his entire Chicago Cubs career. So it makes perfect sense that he was less than thrilled when the team punted on the 2021 season in a dramatic 48-hour trade deadline fire sale.
Those two days saw the trades of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez – all of whom were in the final years of their respective deals. Now, it’s Contreras walking into the 2022 season in the same scenario: and he’s not happy with the only team he’s ever known.
According to NBC Sports Chicago, the team has not had any extension conversations with the two-time All-Star and, now that the sport is in lockout, communication between teams and players is forbidden.
"And word is that’s not sitting well with the two-time All-Star catcher who has pledged his loyalty to the Cubs if they want him to lead the rebuild — especially after he saw the Cubs sign a former All-Star catcher with starting pedigree in Yan Gomes this week."
The days leading up to owners locking out the players last week were a mixed bag of emotions for Contreras. On one hand, the team made a big free agency splash, signing Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal. On the other, the Cubs also brought in Gomes on a two-year contract with an option for a third.
Chicago Cubs need to figure out what they want to do with Willson Contreras
Cubs fans’ initial reaction to the Gomes signing was simple: Contreras is as good as gone. Given the fact there have been no discussions on the extension front, that may very well be the case. It may, however, also mean Hoyer understands that it’s not feasible to trot out a franchise-record nine catchers again in 2022.
The Gomes signing gives Chicago a legitimate alternative to Contreras, whether he’s on the roster or not. If he signs long-term, Contreras can split time behind the dish and as the DH, assuming the universal designated hitter is part of the new CBA.
One thing’s for sure: the communication has to improve, one way or another. Right now, it sure sounds like Contreras is left hanging and, with the lockout’s fingers locked around the sport’s throat, that won’t change anytime soon. Trade him. Extend him. Do what you’re going to do, because letting this thing drag out and be a distraction next season isn’t an option.