Wed. Mar 22nd, 2023

SAN DIEGO — May Cubs followers worst nightmare come true on the subject of Willson Contreras’ touchdown spot in free company?

The reply might come as quickly as this week — maybe inside hours of at any time when the A’s lastly shut a deal on a commerce of their extensively coveted Gold Glove catcher, Sean Murphy.

That’s as a result of the marketplace for Cubs free agent Willson Contreras has heated up sufficient this week on the Winter Conferences that the All-Star catcher has obtained multiyear, preliminary presents from three groups, together with the Cardinals and Astros, a number of sources mentioned Tuesday.

It was not instantly clear who the third staff is (though sources indicated neither the Purple Sox nor the Rays).

“There’s a pair guys that’d be a great match, and it’s a matter of us taking a step again and ensuring we get it proper,” mentioned Cardinals supervisor Oliver Marmol, who joined Playing cards president John Mozeliak in a gathering with Contreras and his brokers final week close to Contreras’ house in Orlando, Florida.

“However Willson is an excellent competitor,” Marmol added. “This can be a man that likes to win, who wakes up eager about it and goes to sleep eager about it. We’ve seen him fairly a bit throughout the best way, and it’s a man you don’t need to compete in opposition to as a result of you realize he’s fairly good.

“He’s an important competitor and we respect his recreation.”

Contreras to the Cardinals? Yikes.


All three groups within the bidding for Contreras are linked to the Murphy commerce sweepstakes. Not one of the free agent presents being mentioned exceed 4 years. However when Murphy lands — to the Rays? — one supply expects the deal with Contreras to accentuate. That might imply the prospect to leverage a suggestion of 5 or extra years.

Astros supervisor Dusty Baker and different Astros officers met with Contreras’ brokers on Monday in San Diego.

Baker, whose enter helped nixed an in any other case completed deal for Contreras on the commerce deadline in August, mentioned Monday he likes Contreras and downplayed his enter on the deadline, calling it extra a timing challenge for the three-time All-Star than the rest.

“[This is] simply perhaps a postponement, who is aware of?” Baker mentioned.

RELATED: Baker: Astros’ nixed Contreras deal could also be mere ‘postponement’

The Cardinals have essentially the most symbolic, if not essentially the most pressing, want on the place as they appear to backfill for retiring, Corridor of Fame-bound Yadi Molina.

“We all know we’re not going to exchange Yadi,” Mozeliak mentioned throughout final month’s Common Managers Conferences. “He was a defensive savant. However we don’t need to take an enormous step again defensively as a result of our staff is centered round protection.

“And the opposite factor that type of goes unseen,” he added, “is that Yadi was so good on serving to with recreation prep, recreation technique, clearly in-game choices with the pitcher. His baseball IQ was unbelievable.

“How do you backfill for that or change it? That’s one thing internally we’ve got to work by.”

That was an enormous a part of assembly face-to-face with Contreras final week.

“It was a great go to; it actually was,” Marmol mentioned. “While you put aside all the pieces from a aggressive [perspective], seeing him from throughout the best way, and also you’re simply having a dialog with him and what drives him and what motivates him and what he’s on the lookout for shifting ahead, it’s telling. We loved our go to.”

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