How will the Chicago Cubs fill the Willson Contreras void if he gets traded and doesn’t come back?
The Chicago Cubs may be in for a rude reminder if the tenure of Willson Contreras comes to a close following a possible trade this summer. He is one of the game’s best all-around catchers. Far better known for his bat than his glove, he hasn’t been a burden behind the plate like many other offensively-gifted players at the position have been.
Replacing him will be tough. Even if the Cubs do end up shipping him elsewhere this summer, they should be in the market to reunite with him. The catcher market is weak. Many of the league’s best teams punt the position offensively in favor of a veteran game-caller.
For the Cubs, they do have a few decent long-term options to get by without Contreras if he ends up somewhere else. Gary Sanchez is not one them.
1) Cubs replacement for Willson Contreras: Christian Vazquez
Christian Vazquez has had an interesting career with the Boston Red Sox. Some years, he hits a ton. In 2019, he powered his way to 23 home runs and even followed it up with 7 more in the shortened 2020 season. This isn’t typical of him. However, throughout his career, he has been a pretty decent hitter and especially of late.
Vazquez is also a free agent at the end of this season and should actually have a ton of suitors. He has been a steady defender for Boston over the years whether he was sharing the duties with someone else or taking the bulk of the work.
The market for him will be an interesting one given his above-average bat for a catcher but non-star status like Contreras has carried with him for years. If the Cubs are serious about having a good catcher behind the plate next year and Contreras isn’t the guy for them, Vazquez is the direction they should go.