Manny Pina has signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Atlanta Braves that includes a $4 million club option for 2024.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 15, 2021
Manny Piña will back up Travis d’Arnaud with the Braves. Piña is a fine defensive catcher and those two will make a good tandem in Atlanta.
That probably puts William Contreras, who backed up d’Arnaud in 2021, on the trade block. Willson’s brother hit .215/.303/.399 (35-for-163) in 2021 with eight home runs, and though he was on Atlanta’s postseason roster for all three series they played this year, he got into only one game, as a pinch-hitter in the division series against the Brewers.
Yes, I’m saying the Cubs should do this at least in part to try to help retain Willson Contreras on a long-term deal. Having his brother as his teammate and backup could possibly help entice Willson to sign a contract extension with the Cubs.
But I’m also suggesting trading for him because, well, he’s good. He threw out 10 of 27 runners trying to steal in 2021, a very good 37 percent rate. Per Baseball Savant, William Contreras ranks 46th of 59 catchers ranked in pitch framing, a few spots beneath his brother at 39th. That isn’t great, but he’s certainly young enough to improve that ranking.
William Contreras turns 24 next month. He still has time to improve both offensively and defensively, but I think he could be a useful backup to his brother right now.
What would it take to get him? First, the Cubs could send Miguel Amaya to Atlanta, since with William Contreras in the fold they wouldn’t need Amaya. Amaya could potentially replace d’Arnaud in Atlanta in a year or two.
Obviously, just swapping young catchers wouldn’t be enough. The Cubs would probably have to include a close to MLB ready prospect pitcher, too. How about Ryan Jensen or Kohl Franklin? Would that be sufficient for the Braves to reunite the Contreras brothers on the North Side of Chicago?
What say you?
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should trade Miguel Amaya and Ryan Jensen or Kohl Franklin for him
... the Cubs should trade for him, but it will take more than the proposal above
... the Cubs should not trade for him
Something else (leave in comments)