MLB News: Cubs Unlikely To Keep Willson Contreras, Could Bring Him Back Later

Willson Contreras
Shutterstock | 840655

Ernesto Cova

The Chicago Cubs have a tough decision ahead of them. They could either try and extend Willson Contreras despite not being ready to contend right away or trade him to any of the multiple MLB teams interested in his services.

That should be a no-brainer if you're looking to rebuild, but parting ways with your veteran leader is never easy.

It's All Business In Chicago

Willson Contreras
Giphy | MLB

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, however, doesn't seem to care too much about those intangibles. He's proven to be more of a pragmatic and Contreras' locker room presence won't be a factor in his decision:

"Hoyer appears to be less sentimental than his predecessor, Theo Epstein, who also often operated in a cold, calculating manner while allowing some room for intangibles, even if he didn’t always go the extra mile for it. This decision will come down to numbers and on-field production," wrote Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic.

How Will Contreras Age?

Willson Contreras
Shutterstock | 840655

Moreover, Contreras' position is ruthless and tough to bank on with big extensions. He's gotten more rest thanks to the universal DH spot, but that's still something to consider going forward:

"Another consideration for Hoyer is how Contreras will age. Catchers tend to wear down quicker than other players," Sharma added. "How Contreras has performed these first two months with regular rest and the DH available alters the view slightly, but it’s still a major factor for this front office to weigh (...) In Hoyer’s view, why take this risk? If Contreras is willing to sign at what they view as a value discount, sure. But why would that make sense for Contreras?"

He Could Still Be Back

Willson Contreras
Wikimedia | Beisbol

Moreover, the Cubs could hope that Contreras pulls off an Aroldis Chapman and signs with them again after being traded somewhere else for the remainder of the season:

"There would be no reason to force that move now when they could still bring Contreras back in the winter, assuming the relationship stays strong and amicable through the trade deadline process, which would be likely," Sharma wrote.

They're Not Likely To Change Their Mind

Willson Contreras
Wikimedia | SecretName101

Even so, all signs point towards a trade. Contreras is one of the most valuable players at his position and will gauge plenty of interest in the market:

"There’s a chance the Cubs could reassess the situation and revisit the idea of making an extension offer to Contreras, but a trade at the deadline remains extremely likely," Sharma concluded.

The Cubs don't have a clear timeline to compete and that often means parting ways with leaders, as much as it may hurt.