The Chicago #Cubs, after trading Yu Darvish and non-tendering Kyle Schwarber, are now extensively shopping catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras is projected to earn at least $5 million and perhaps as much as $7.4 million in salary arbitration, per @mlbtraderumors— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 29, 2020
I’ll wait while we pick Sara up from the floor.
First, let’s take this with some skepticism. Bob Nightengale has been frequently known to be wrong about things like this. I will take this with multiple grains of salt until I hear it from other national writers, or local writers plugged-in with the team.
Willson Contreras is not only one of the most popular Cubs, he’s got a plus bat and plays solid defense at one of the most critical positions. He’s been a consistent 3+ bWAR player for the last several seasons.
The arbitration figures quoted in Nightengale’s tweet are in line with the MLB Trade Rumors estimates, so that part of the tweet, at least, is accurate. But that sort of money shouldn’t break the bank of the Chicago Cubs, or indeed, any baseball team. What the Cubs should be doing is taking some of the savings from the Yu Darvish deal and using it to pay for a contract extension for Contreras.
Willson turns 29 in May. He’s not “old” in baseball terms, even though he’s played nearly 500 MLB games. If someone like Contreras is traded, then I will acknowledge that the Cubs are in a full-scale rebuild.
It would be nice if there were some transparency on the part of management to let the fanbase — you know, the Cubs customers who supply some of the hundreds of millions of dollars the team rakes in during normal times — know what to expect.
We have been through a rebuild within the last decade. It resulted in a World Series championship. We understand rebuilds.
If that’s what’s going on, tell us so. If not, it would be nice to see some investment in the 2021 team.
As always, we await developments.