MLB: Dollar values of the best catchers

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina (4) during a game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on September 11, 2019 at Coors Field in Denver, CO. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: St. Louis Cardinals Catcher Yadier Molina (4) during a game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on September 11, 2019 at Coors Field in Denver, CO. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 11
Next
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

10 Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs $2.16 million value; $684,000 salary

Over the past couple of seasons, Contreras has become famous – infamous may be a better description – for his defensive weaknesses, particularly his pitch framing. The rap on his skills behind the plate has become so intense that there is serious discussion in Chicago about unloading him, possibly any minute now.

Those pitch-framing and defensive skills are no bargain; Contreras ranks only 26th among the 37 most frequently used catchers. It’s so bad that Contreras’s pitch-framing actually generates a negative value in the amount of $164,000 relative to his MLB peers.

His general defense isn’t much better, ranking just 24th. It, too, generates a negative value amounting to $77.000.

So far we’ve concluded that Contreras should have paid the Cubs close to a quarter-million dollars just to allow him to catch in 2019. At the bat, however, the two-time All Star starter more than makes up for it. Contreras delivers a 3.1 WAR, the sixth best among catchers, valuing out at $2.401 million.

Given his $684,000 pre-arbitration salary, it more than justifies Chicago’s reliance on him as the team’s primary catcher, and it elevates him into the top 10, if barely, among most valued catchers.