Willson Contreras unbothered by being included in Cubs’ offseason trade rumors

Contreras’ name was thrown around during the offseason as possibly being on the move.

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John Antonoff/Chicago Sun-Times

MESA, Ariz. — If you played for the Cubs last season and were under contract for 2021, there was a high probability your name was going to be mentioned in a trade rumor.

Catcher Willson Contreras wasn’t immune from such rumors during the offseason, but he said he wasn’t fazed by hearing his name come up as a possible trade target.

‘‘Those rumors didn’t bother me; it’s the other way [around],’’ Contreras said Saturday. ‘‘Those make me proud because [of] everything that I’ve done to be where I’m at. Immensely proud.

‘‘I wasn’t, like, bothered at all. I was just kind of going through it relaxed. Because if I got traded, I know that I’m ready to play anywhere and everywhere. So that didn’t bother me. I’m in a spot where those types of things don’t bother me.’’

After the rumors were floated on Twitter, Contreras took to social media and fired off a few sarcastic tweets.

‘‘That’s what [social] media is all about,’’ he said. ‘‘I know a few reporters were trying to make something out of [nothing], but that’s what [social] media is all about. Just to have fun and do whatever you need to do with it.’’

Strop officially in camp

The Cubs made the signing of veteran reliever Pedro Strop official, and he took part in his first workout. Strop, who pitched for the Cubs in 2013-19 before pitching for the Reds last season, signed a minor-league deal last week with an invitation to spring training.

‘‘We’re glad to have him here,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘We’re hoping he’ll be able to get out there and perform here real soon. It’s nice just to have him back walking around the clubhouse. It just, I don’t know, makes me smile, makes me happy to see him. I think it makes a lot of guys happy.’’

Ryan update

Left-hander Kyle Ryan participated in the Cubs’ morning workout. He was put on the team’s COVID-19 list Feb. 17.

According to Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols, players who have tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive must isolate for 10 days. They can be cleared once they are deemed to present no risk of infection to others.

Once Ryan is removed from the COVID list, the Cubs would have to make a move to make room for him on the 40-man roster.

He said it

‘‘It’s just a mental team identity. I think that we kind of collectively did something together and worked on [our defense] as a group. I think it really kind of tied all that together.’’ — Infielder David Bote, on the Cubs’ defensive improvements in 2020.

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