Chicago Cubs: Top 5 Destinations for Willson Contreras

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 03: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs throws back to the pitcher in his first game back from the injured list against the Seattle Mariners at Wrigley Field on September 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 03: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs throws back to the pitcher in his first game back from the injured list against the Seattle Mariners at Wrigley Field on September 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ricardo Zapata/Los Angeles Angels/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ricardo Zapata/Los Angeles Angels/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein is in sale mode this offseason. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 5 destinations suited for Wilson Contreras.

This offseason has been the most active that MLB has seen in a couple years, and even though the Winter Meetings have concluded there are still a lot of potential moves left to make. Dallas Keuchel, Hyun Jin Ryu and Josh Donaldson are still free agents. Meanwhile the trade market is also active, with discussions surrounding Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor and a handful of players currently employed by the Chicago Cubs.

Since winning the World Series in 2016 the Cubs have declined sharply. They went to the NLCS in 2017, lost to the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card game of 2018 and then completely missed the playoffs in 2019. Now they’re actively shopping Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez.

Bryant is probably the most likely but everyone is waiting to find out how his service time grievance shakes out before moving. Baez is a fan favorite and possibly the most likely to receive an extension.

Which brings us to Contreras, who has the most control left with three years until he reaches free agency. It’s still more likely that the Cubs hang onto their cornerstone catcher, but let’s look at the top five destinations for him anyway.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are far and away the best match for Willson Contreras and no it isn’t just because Joe Maddon is the new manager there (although that does help).

The biggest reason for this match is that the Angels are a team trying to make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2014 and are seeming to go for it in 2020 seeing as they just signed Anthony Rendon.

Contreras would be a solid addition to a lineup with Rendon, Shohei Ohtani and of course Mike Trout. He would also fill a position of need for LA. Right now the only catchers on the roster are: Max Stassi, who just had hip surgery and has a career .611 OPS even when he’s healthy. Second is Anthony Benboom, who has 54 career at bats.

That’s it. That’s the list.

Contreras is 27, with three years of control and just hit a career high 24 homers in just 105 games. The Angels are ready to win now and have the farm system to give the Cubs what they want (as long as it’s not Jo Adell).