Ranking the 3 most valuable Cubs trade candidates

(Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images) /
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Willson Contreras / Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Despite picking up a series-opening win on Monday behind a dominant effort from Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs still sit eight games under .500 at 10-18 on the season. If we’re being honest, the season is already hanging in the balance given the team’s recent performance (Chicago is 2-10 in its last 10 games).

Keeping all that in mind, it’s hardly too soon to be thinking about this summer’s trade deadline and accepting the fact the Cubs could very well be big-time sellers again, even after unloading almost every high-performing player on the roster last July. Here are three guys who could be on the move if Jed Hoyer keeps subtracting between now and the deadline.

3 most valuable Cubs trade candidates: #3 – Willson Contreras

Given the complete lack of extension talks prior to Opening Day, a Willson Contreras feels almost like an inevitable outcome. Throw in the fact that he’s currently the most valuable offensive catcher in the game with a passion for winning and it’s not hard to see why teams would be lining up to add his services for a stretch run.

In 23 games this season, the two-time All-Star is batting an impressive .279/.380/.477, with six doubles, a triple and three home runs. He’s dramatically improved his strikeout rate year-over-year and continues to be a valuable veteran leader in the clubhouse.

I personally don’t see a scenario where the Cubs just run out the clock on Contreras’ final year of team control. With an eye on the future, Hoyer seems more likely than ever to capitalize on his stellar showing so far and make a move in the coming months.