Cubs reportedly moved on from 'volatile' Willson Contreras due to clubhouse outbursts

According to David Kaplan, the former All-Star catcher was prone to flying off the handle, going so far as to smash iPads when he was frustrated with his and the team's performance.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The breakup between Willson Contreras and the Chicago Cubs wasn't exactly clean. First, there was the months-long uncertainty heading into the 2022 trade deadline as to whether or not he'd be traded. Of course, the Cubs held onto him and simply ran out the clock on his tenure on the North Side.

Then, after he signed with the division rival St. Louis Cardinals that offseason, reports surfaced suggesting Cubs management took exception with how Contreras prepared. That caused a bit of a back-and-forth between the three-time All-Star and his former team and Contreras' struggles in his first season with the Cardinals did little to calm things down.

It seems there was more to the Cubs' decision to move on from Willson Contreras than an organizational shift in catching philosophy

Now, David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 suggests it was more than a shift in approach to the catcher position that prompted Jed Hoyer and the Cubs to move on from Contreras. Kaplan claims that on multiple occasions amid outbursts of anger, Contreras destroyed iPads in the Cubs clubhouse - and eventually, it got to a point where the team felt it needed to rid itself of a 'volatile' presence.

That's a huge accusation and one we hadn't heard either during Contreras' seven-year Cubs tenure or in the two years since he left. Always an emotional player, he quickly became a fan favorite after coming up during the team's 2016 World Series run and emerging as a staple behind the dish.

Up until now, the Cubs' decision to move on behind the dish was chalked up to more of an emphasis on game-calling and defensive metrics, neither of which are strong suits of the Venezuelan backstop. But this new report suggests things weren't quite as rosy as we'd believed as the Theo Epstein era drew to a close and the Hoyer-led rebuild got underway in Wrigleyville.