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Willson Contreras rumors: Cubs haven’t discussed extension with top deadline trade candidate, per report

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The Major League Baseball trade deadline is more than two months away, but all indications are that Chicago Cubs catcher Wilson Contreras is one of the best players available on the market. Consider that earlier this week, Contreras told the Chicago media: including Gordon Wittenmyerthat it remains open to discussion of a long-term extension. However, the Cubs front office did not get in touch.

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“We’re going to have to go through a hearing and whatever happens there will happen, so I’m not worried about that at all,” Contreras said. (The “hearing” in this case is his arbitration hearing, which was delayed due to a lockout imposed by the MLB owner.)

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Contreras, 30, is due to qualify as a free agent at the end of the season. In his first 32 games, he batted .263/.391/.474 (148 OPS+) with five home runs and eight extra off-base hits. His .865 OPS is the third most in major tournaments among catchers with at least 50 plate hits behind Tyler Stephenson (Reds) and John Heim (Rangers).

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Contreras hits the ball harder than usual in the past and his strikeout rate has dropped from 28.6% to 19.6%. Moreover, his reduced K level was accompanied by an improvement in his contact speed. In other words, Contreras may have made real and enduring strides in this arena.

The catch with Contreras is that his defense rarely deserves the same level of praise as his offense. According to Statcasthe has been one of the worst wide receivers in the league this season, trailing only Robinson Chirinos, Tucker Barnhart and Jacob Stallings.

It is too early to say for sure which teams will be interested in Contreras. However, the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and Tampa Bay Rays — the top three teams in the American League — have all received sub-average results from their catchers to date.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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