As of appropriate now, it’s doubtless you’ll well possibly in finding Willson Contreras slow the plate for the Chicago Cubs and moreover within the No. 1 design for All-Star votes amongst National League catchers.
Advance the opposite facet of Most most important League Baseball’s Aug. 2 change cleave back-off date, who’s aware of?
Contreras has been a odd in change rumors for a pair years at this point, nonetheless the chances of the Cubs genuinely dealing him this time are elevated than they’ve ever been. With their story at 25-43, they’re now not exactly taking merit of his closing season sooner than free agency.
Not that this is any fault of Contreras’. Already a two-time All-Star and World Series champion, he’s having the handiest season of his occupation. He’s taken more plate appearances than any other catcher and he likewise leads his peers with a .907 OPS and 2.9 rWAR.
As for where Contreras might possibly possibly possibly indirectly discontinue up, for the time being we are capable of utterly speculate on his suitors and unfriendly them in step with how badly they need him and the design smartly they line up as change companions with the Cubs.
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Picture By Winslow Townson/Getty Images
10. Los Angeles Angels
File: 33-38 (2nd in AL West)
Catching WAR: 0.3 (T-17th)
With 25 losses in their closing 34 games, the Angels first prefer to climb back into the American League playoff image sooner than can select into consideration procuring for on the change cleave back-off date. If they will, Contreras would be an red meat up over Max Stassi at catcher and a fast solution for the loss of Anthony Rendon (wrist) right thru the lineup.
9. Boston Red Sox
File: 38-31 (third in AL East)
Catching WAR: 0 (22nd)
To be gorgeous, Christian Vazquez is an dazzling defender and a capable hitter. The Red Sox nonetheless want a consistent batsman who might possibly possibly possibly select stress off their tall three of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. Contreras is smartly-suited to that role, a minimal of.
8. Tampa Bay Rays
File: 37-31 (4th in AL East)
Catching WAR: Minus-0.7 (29th)
Led by Mike Zunino and Francisco Mejia, the Rays are getting staunch a .516 OPS out of their catchers. Contreras is an evident savior on this regard, but there might possibly be the pressing question whether the low-funds Rays would prefer to pick on his $9.6 million salary.
7. Minnesota Twins
File: 38-31 (T-st in AL Central)
Catching WAR: 0.8 (T-12th)
The Twins already indulge in a unpleasant offensive catcher within the person of Gary Sanchez, nonetheless or now not it’s telling that he’s hit better when he’s worked out of the designated hitter design. With him there and Contreras slow the dish, what’s already a provoking lineup would behold that powerful scarier.
6. San Diego Padres
File: 43-27 (T-1st in NL West)
Catching WAR: 1.4 (eighth)
Though catching is now not powerful of an mission in San Diego, A.J. Preller is now not one to insecure away from tall-designate additions. Adding Contreras because the power bat that the offense sorely wants would fit the invoice, and would completely fabricate the likelihood of the crew’s first NL West title since 2006 that rather more valid.
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David Berding/Getty Images
File: 33-33 (third in AL Central)
Catching WAR: 0.1 (T-19th)
If the Chicago White Sox are going to fabricate a switch for a hitter sooner than the cleave back-off date, other positions must peaceable arguably select precedence over catcher. They’re within the bottom third of the league for rWAR at second circulation, third circulation, appropriate topic and designated hitter.
Also within the bottom third of the league, nonetheless, is the .588 OPS that the White Sox are getting from their catchers. Among other things, that speaks to what a disappointing year that Yasmani Grandal is having.
Grandal used to be one among Chicago’s main hitters in 2021, going off for a .939 OPS and 23 house runs in 93 games. He posted staunch a .531 thru his first 50 games of this season sooner than he landed on the injured checklist with back spasms.
Here is motive ample for the White Sox to indulge in their watch on Contreras, and they’d now not basically prefer to pick it off despite the actual fact that Grandal rediscovers his in finding upon getting back from the IL. Following a change, he and Contreras might possibly possibly possibly repeatedly work in a time-fragment at catcher and DH.
Fairly, Contreras’ acquisition worth would be what blocks him from a switch from the North Side to the South Side. There have to now not any Tier 1 potentialities within the White Sox’s 26th-ranked farm system, so they’ll be at an impediment if they enter the bidding battle for Contreras.
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G Fiume/Getty Images
File: 35-28 (T-st in AL Central)
Catching WAR: Minus-0.1 (T-23rd)
Treasure with the Rays, there might possibly be a couple of question about whether the Cleveland Guardians would decide on the rest of Contreras’ salary in a change. Presumably rather more so with them, because the Guardians’ $67.8 million payroll is set $20 million insecure of what the Rays are spending.
Other than that, though, there might possibly be a clear fit for Contreras in Cleveland.
Though Austin Hedges is a talented defensive catcher, he’s never been powerful of a hitter and he’s right thru what might possibly possibly possibly also very smartly be his worst ever offensive season. He’s batting staunch .163/.219/.259, so he bears most of the blame for the circulation .501 OPS that Cleveland is getting from its catching corps.
Extra broadly, the Guardians staunch gross want a appropriate-handed hitter of Contreras’ caliber. The .331 slugging share that they’re getting from the perfect facet of the plate is the worst in baseball.
Because the Guardians indulge in the No. 3 farm system within the league, there might possibly be now not powerful doubt that they’ve the likelihood capital to total a address the Cubs. And with the membership threatening to pick first put within the AL Central from the Twins, one would hope that possession is changing into more piquant to invest on this crew by the day.
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Greg Fiume/Getty Images
File: 45-25 (1st in NL East)
Catching WAR: Minus-0.2 (25th)
The New York Mets will indulge in signed J.T. Realmuto for the length of the 2020-21 offseason, nonetheless they opted for the cleave impress option by signing James McCann to a four-year, $40.6 million contract.
Alas, the deal did now not pay rapid dividends in 2021 and or now not it’s now making an are attempting more treasure an outright bust in 2022. McCann posted staunch a .521 OPS in 21 games thru Would possibly possibly moreover 10, when he suffered a broken hamate bone from which he’s peaceable recuperating.
Otherwise, Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika moreover indulge in moreover been largely futile with the bat. So it goes for the put as a total for the Mets, because the .516 OPS they’ve gotten from their catchers ranks 26th within the majors.
Though the Mets already indulge in baseball’s absolute best payroll at $260.9 million, asking them to exhaust more doesn’t seem treasure asking too powerful. Steve Cohen is the richest proprietor in baseball, and the crew he’s constructed for 2022 is as “World Series or bust” as they reach.
Even peaceable, Jon Heyman of the New York Put up wrote that the Mets “aren’t seemingly to present up the potentialities it can well possibly select” to in finding Contreras. If appropriate, the thinking might possibly possibly possibly also very smartly be that they have to now not blow up what’s already a middling farm system for a mere condominium.
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Rich Schultz/Getty Images
File: 38-29 (third in NL West)
Catching WAR: 0.4 (16th)
Though there are a total bunch other components at play, a downturn in production from the catcher put is one among the reasons the San Francisco Giants have to now not dominating treasure they did in 2021.
Thanks in tall fragment to Buster Posey and his .304 common, the Giants benefited from the majors’ fourth-handiest catching corps en route to 107 wins closing season. Nonetheless then Posey retired, successfully handing the reigns over to top prospect Joey Bart.
This has now not been a cushy transition. Bart hit staunch .156 with a .596 OPS in 36 games with the Giants thru June 4, giving them little dedication nonetheless to option him back to the minors.
With Bart out of the image, the Giants are relying on Curt Casali and Austin Wynns to raise the burden at catcher. That is now not a tandem befitting of a crew that might possibly possibly well possibly get a second straight NL West title, powerful less one which would return the franchise to the World Series.
Scott Harris worked within the Cubs’ entrance office sooner than he signed on because the Giants’ typical supervisor in 2019, so he’s hundreds acquainted with Contreras. If he decides he wants a reunion with the backstop, every the monetary and prospect technique to fabricate a change are there.
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File: 42-25 (1st in AL West)
Catching WAR: Minus-1.0 (30th)
Not one among the teams we have mentioned to this point is getting viable offense from its catchers in 2022, but the Houston Astros can peaceable behold at every of them with envy in their eyes.
At .474, the OPS they’re getting from slow the plate is the worst in all of MLB. Not tall for any crew, nonetheless especially now not one which’s making an are attempting to fabricate its fourth World Series within the closing six years.
It is utterly gorgeous to display camouflage that this is more so Jason Castro’s doing than Martin Maldonado’s. The latter’s .516 OPS looks dazzling appropriate relative to the passe’s .352 OPS. Maldonado moreover has worth defensively, particularly as a threat to would-be circulation stealers.
Nonetheless is it ample to stay to him? Not genuinely. Maldonado’s offense utterly looks appropriate in comparability to Castro, and his pop times don’t fabricate up for what’s otherwise a declining defensive skill design. His framing is past its prime and even handed balls had been an mission in 2022.
The take must peaceable be that we indulge in now Houston’s farm system ranked because the worst in baseball, nonetheless the top of mentioned system is now not that notorious. It notably facets smartly-regarded catching prospect Korey Lee, who might possibly possibly possibly doubtlessly charm to the Cubs as an heir obvious for Contreras.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.