Any of these three San Francisco Giants prospects could headline a trade for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras.
If the science existed, the San Francisco Giants would have invested in keeping Buster Posey around forever. Losing him to retirement left a hole in the lineup they might be able to resolve this summer by renting Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras for a few weeks.
The Cubs are fully expected to continue to shop players around. Contreras might just be the best one they have to offer. The Giants, with their own questions behind the plate, would be a natural fit to add him.
A free agent after this year, the Giants wouldn’t have to commit to anything beyond the 2022 postseason with him. To acquire one of the best-hitting catchers in baseball, it’s going to take at least one solid prospect to make it happen. Which of those farmhands San Francisco has could headline a deal for Contreras?
1) Giants prospect to trade for Willson Contreras: Patrick Bailey
Giants catching prospect Patrick Bailey is the natural choice to swap for Contreras. The 2020 first-round draft pick turned 23 in May and would definitely catch the eye of the Cubs because of the obvious replacement value he would have. Ranked number 7 within the organization by MLB.com, he has a big league ETA of 2023.
The timing actually works out perfectly for the Cubs, who appear ready to take a clearer step back before moving forward. They have pieces they need to get rid of and a farm system to load up a little stronger. They don’t quite have the army of young talent they did when Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and even Contreras were coming up. Chicago has found itself caught in a strange baseball purgatory in 2022 where the future doesn’t look so bright.
Adding Bailey could be a start. With their sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, the Giants showed that they might just have the right attitude to win a championship. Adding Contreras’ bat to a lineup in need of a boost —especially at a position where they don’t have any obvious answers — is worth trading away Bailey.
Through his first 511 plate appearances as a professional, Bailey is a .251/.352/.413 hitter. His ability to draw walks as a minor leaguer is incredibly positive. He could absolutely headline a deal for Contreras.
A one-for-one swap isn’t going to happen, but it might not take all that much more for the two sides to agree to a deal.