Even with the trade deadline a few weeks away, the Willson Contreras trade rumors are already reaching a fevered pitch. The Cubs’ catcher is undoubtedly one of the best players available at the 2022 MLB trade deadline.
With the Cubs trading several key members of the 2016 championship team last summer, Contreras is likely to be moved this summer with the team still rebuilding.
Willson Contreras trade rumors
With Contreras trade news inevitable, let’s explore some of the teams that are most likely to trade for Contreras before the trade deadline.
Milwaukee isn’t one of the obvious choices, especially since there haven’t been that many Willson Contreras trade rumors connecting him with the Brew Crew. After all, the Brewers have gotten decent production from Omar Narvaez and Victor Caratini this year. They also have Pedro Severino and Alex Jackson in the organization.
Plus, the Cubs may not want to help a division rival by trading Contreras to Milwaukee. But there is no question that the Brewers need more impact offensive players. That’s why Contreras would be a perfect fit for Milwaukee’s needs. He would likely end up being the DH most days, adding some offensive punch to the lineup without disrupting Milwaukee’s crowded catching situation too much.
Ever since the Mets underwent a change of ownership, they’ve been a little more bold than in past years. That means a big move for Contreras is on the table. The Mets haven’t gotten much offense this season from James McCann, who is now on the IL for the second time.
Contreras would be a great fill-in until McCann is healthy and then spend time in the DH spot if the Mets want to keep using McCann and backup Tomas Nido for their defense. Perhaps the only question is how much the Mets want to deplete from their farm system for a rental player.
There haven’t been too many Willson Contreras trade rumors linking him to Cleveland because the Guardians aren’t a good candidate to make a major move at the deadline. That being said, the Guardians are undoubtedly in the playoff hunt because of their pitching and the heroics of Jose Ramirez, who needs help around him.
Contreras would provide that help, adding some much-needed depth behind Ramirez.
Plus, Austin Hedges and Luke Maile have both been abysmal offensively this year, so the Guardians are getting nothing from that position right now. That means trading for Contreras would be a bigger upgrade behind the plate for Cleveland than it would be for almost any other team. It might be a long shot because the Guardians may not want to make such a bold and expensive move for a rental player, but they are surely a great fit for Contreras.
The White Sox have surely underperformed offensively this year with injuries playing a role. Of course, that makes them a good candidate to trade for Contreras.
Trades between the Cubs and White Sox aren’t that uncommon, so the North Siders should have no problem shipping Contreras to the South Side if the price is right.
With Yasmani Grandal having a terrible season before going on the IL in mid-June, the White Sox need to keep their options open behind the plate. Even if Grandal gets his act together, Contreras adds one more option to play at the DH spot.
If the White Sox continue to underperform, Contreras could be the shot in the arm that they need. Keep in mind Chicago was favored in the AL Central before the season, so the White Sox are under a little bit of pressure to live up to that, which could lead them to make a bold trade for a player like Contreras.
The Giants are surely one of the leading favorites to land Contreras. Life after Buster Posey hasn’t been all that easy for San Francisco with Joey Bart falling flat offensively. The aging Giants have also been hurt by a slew of injuries to their veteran players, making it hard to get their lineup at full strength.
As a result, the Giants have fallen a little behind in the playoff race and are struggling just to stay above .500. In other words, they need to make a significant offensive upgrade at the trade deadline, so their motivation to add someone like Contreras is greater than most teams.
However, have the Giants fallen far enough in June and July to the point that trading for Contreras may not be enough to make them a serious contender?
If not the Giants, most of the Willson Contreras trade rumors recently have revolved around the Astros. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with Houston’s lineup, at least when everyone is healthy.
The Astros have gotten by while getting almost nothing from catchers Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro. But with Castro, Yordan Alvarez, and Michael Brantley all on the IL, there has to be some level of concern.
Keep in mind that the Astros aren’t just thinking about the playoffs, as they’re already running away with the AL West. Houston’s mindset is putting together a team that can beat the Yankees in the ALCS and get to the World Series. In that sense, the Astros will surely view Contreras as a potential difference-maker, especially given some of the players on the IL. That’s why the Astros could be considered the favorites to land Contreras at the moment.