Padres, Rays among teams associated with World Series Champion Catcher

One of the interesting upcoming MLB free agents is Willson Contreras and several teams are watching the Venezuelan baseball player.

At least two teams have been linked to the 30-year-old catcher, who has only played for the Chicago Cubs since moving to the MLB in 2016. One of them is the San Diego Padres. ESPN reported, and the other is reportedly the Tampa Bay Rays.

For the Padres, they already have a loveable core of catchers, which begs the question as to why they would want to add the three-time All-Star to the group.

San Diego’s catchers are averaging .258/.311/.366 this season, which is better than the positional average of .225/.294/.364. Nonetheless, the Padres are struggling up front so adding someone like Contreras could help.

The Padres could get offensive help at several positions, particularly in the outfield. Their bullpen could also use new blood, especially if Taylor Rogers is removed from the closer role.

Also, Contreras isn’t the only one the Padres are considering. They also take a look at Ian Happ, reported The Athletic’s Dennis Lin.

Contreras and Happ are viewed as alternatives, with the Padres likely struggling to pursue another coveted but costly target in Juan Soto.

The Washington Nationals said they have no plans to trade Soto before the Aug. 2 deadline. For San Diego, they may not have enough assets to trade for the 2019 World Series champion, one reason attention has shifted to Contreras and Happ.

With the Rays, catcher Mike Zunino is in his final year and there’s no guarantee he’ll return. He was also pulled from the season due to thoracic outlet syndrome, the cause of the ailments in his left arm.

Fansideed’s Robert Murray claimed Tampa Bay had an interest in Contreras. However, success in acquiring the Venezuelan player still depends on whether or not the Rays can meet the Cubs’ asking price.




Photo: Getty Images | Nuccio DiNuzzo

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Fry Electronics Team

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