Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras is hitting the free agency market for 2023, and several teams have their eyes on him.
Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras is a hot target in MLB free agency, as he should be. Contreras is reportedly set to be presented with a qualifying offer from the Cubs, but he’s expressed excitement in exploring free agency before, so he’s expected to turn it down.
If he does hit free agency, it’s believed to be a lucrative market for Contreras, but as we inch closer to the start of the offseason and negotiations, a potential surprise bidder for the catcher’s services has emerged.
As reported by MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Detroit Tigers are reportedly interested in signing Contreras, which could be an intriguing landing spot for the three-time All-Star. The Tigers need a lot of roster development but Contreras would be a great addition to help continue jumpstarting that.
Willson Contreras would make a difference for the Tigers
By signing in Detroit he’d join former teammate Javier Baez. The two were core members of the 2016 World Series-winning Cubs team, so the Tigers may just be on the right path. They still have a ton of development to do by the looks of the 2022 regular season, but they appear to be making smart and strategic moves.
If they can manage to land Contreras, they’d certainly be on the upswing toward a shot at the postseason.
The Tigers have had a rough time in their franchise history, only making the playoffs 16 times over 118 seasons. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2014 and they finished the 2022 regular season as one of the worst teams in the league. They had the sixth-worst record (66-96) among all MLB teams.
They also had the sixth-worst batting average (.231), second-worst on-base percentage (.286), worst slugging percentage (.346) and second-worst OPS (.632). Contreras would be a great addition as he slashed .243/.349/.466 for an OPS of .815.
Though he wouldn’t be able to single-handedly fix the mess of the Tigers roster, he’d be a huge step forward in the right direction. Detroit will have a lot of competition in trying to acquire him, so it’s hard saying where he will end up. However, the Tigers should certainly try to add him to the team.