It’s a narrative that we have heard the last two years, “Kris Bryant is not clutch.” Kris Bryant is not going to resign with the Cubs. The Cubs should trade Kris Bryant before his value goes down (which doesn’t make sense at all of you really think about it). Well I am here to tell you that Kris Bryant is not the player the Cubs should trade this offseason. It is Willson Contreras.
There is no doubt that Contreras has done very well learning how to be a Major League catcher. Offensively he is arguably the best in the game. Defensively his arm is top notch, but his framing could use some work. He has learned to handle and gain respect from a rotation with a few pitchers who have had success for years in Major League Baseball. Willson Contreras is an All-Star and has multiple Gold Gloves in his future. The issues is Contreras is not the best catcher in the Cubs organization.
Migual Amaya is the Cubs catcher of the future. He is better defensively all around than Contreras, and his offense will improve with time. Because of Amaya, it makes Contreras the most valuable trade piece the Cubs have in the organization.
So what could the Cubs get for Contreras? They have multiple needs, so I feel a few teams could be perfect trade partners.
Let’s start with the guy that I want, but don’t know if he would be available and that’s Ketel Marte of the Arizona Diamondbacks. This is a long shot on multiple reasons, Arizona has Carson Kelly and aren’t looking for an upgrade at catcher, and it very well could take another top piece to fetch a guy that is coming off a career season.
Next player is Mallex Smith from Seattle. He would fit perfectly as the lead off hitting center fielder that the Cubs need so desperately. The only worry there is which Smith would you be getting? Last years .227/.300/.335, or the guy from 2018 when he was with Tampa Bay and he slashed .296/.367/.406? Is that gamble worth it?
The last player and who I think makes the both sense for not only the Cubs, but for the Cleveland Indians, Shane Bieber. He’s young and under control for the next five years. He also had a really nice year with the Indians. He posted a 3.28 with a WHIP of 1.05. The Indians would be getting offensive projection from their catcher position that they desperately need.
Willson Contreras has been very good in his tenure with the Cubs and it would be sad to see him go, but now is the time to do it. Ride with a platoon of Caratini and a guy like Lucroy or Chirinos (I want Chirinos) would be just fine until Amaya is ready to take the reins.
Mallex Smith-ELAINE THOMPSON AP
Shane Bieber-Getty Images
Cover Image-John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune