As of right now, you can find Willson Contreras behind the plate for the Chicago Cubs and also in the No. 1 spot for All-Star votes among National League catchers.
Come the other side of Major League Baseball’s Aug. 2 trade deadline, who knows?
Contreras has been a regular in trade rumors for a couple years at this point, but the chances of the Cubs actually dealing him this time are higher than they’ve ever been. With their record at 25-43, they’re not exactly making the most of his final season before free agency.
Not that this is any fault of Contreras’. Already a two-time All-Star and World Series champion, he’s having the best season of his career. 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 ultimately end up, in the meantime we can only speculate on his suitors and rank them according to how badly they need him and how well they line up as trade partners with the Cubs.
10. Los Angeles Angels
Record: 33-38 (2nd in AL West)
Catching WAR: 0.3 (T-17th)
With 25 losses in their last 34 games, the Angels first need to climb back into the American League playoff picture before can consider buying at the trade deadline. If they can, Contreras would be an upgrade over Max Stassi at catcher and a short-term answer for the loss of Anthony Rendon (wrist) in the middle of the lineup.
9. Boston Red Sox
Record: 38-31 (3rd in AL East)
Catching WAR: 0 (22nd)
To be fair, Christian Vazquez is an excellent defender and a capable hitter. The Red Sox nonetheless need a consistent batsman who could take pressure off their big three of Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez. Contreras is well-suited to that role, at least.