Another Cubs selloff? Is that what we’re headed toward?
Not that the Cubs have the same level of assets that they had at the time of their 2021 capitulation, when president Jed Hoyer traded Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo, among others, at the deadline. But they do have Willson Contreras — one of the best catchers in baseball — bound for free agency at season’s end, and his abundant talent would be greatly missed.
In this week’s “Polling Place,” your home for Sun-Times sports polls on Twitter, we asked whether or not the Cubs will deal their best player before the Aug. 2 deadline.
“He’s a foundation piece they should build around,” @JeffreyCanalia commented.
But @PleaseTalkToMe1 countered, “He’s a 30-year-old catcher. It’s a risky proposition to build around that.”
We also asked voters to place Contreras into the pecking order of Cubs catchers. And finally: In what year will the Cubs have their next winning season?
“In the year 2525,” offered @RonaldVoigt4, a real wisenheimer.
On to the polls:
Poll No. 1: Will the Cubs trade Willson Contreras before the Aug. 2 deadline?
Time for a Willson Contreras-themed “Polling Place.” Let us hear from you! Selected comments will appear in Saturday's paper.— Chicago Sun-Times (@Suntimes) June 9, 2022
Q1: Will the Cubs trade Contreras before the Aug. 2 deadline?
Upshot: “If I happen to get traded, I hope it’s to a good team that has a chance to go to the World Series,” Contreras told the Sun-Times this week. “If a trade doesn’t happen, I’ll be happy to stay. … As of right now, I’m still a Chicago Cub. And I’m proud of that.” Let’s be honest, Cubs fans: It doesn’t sound that promising. And that’s probably because it’s not.
Poll No. 2: Contreras is the best Cubs catcher since:
Upshot: Davis — like Contreras, a two-time All-Star — was terrific. Hundley, ever unsung while playing alongside four future Hall-of-Famers, was the definition of a workhorse. The great Hartnett, swatter of the “Homer in the Gloamin,’ ” is enshrined in Cooperstown. Contreras absolutely ranks as one of the best the Cubs have had. Anybody else belong in this discussion? Michael Barrett, according to @Micflowin, but we’ll take Contreras all day in that head-to-head comparison.
Poll No. 3: In what year will the Cubs next have a winning season?
Upshot: Prospect-wise, keep in mind how young the big names are. Infielders Cristian Hernandez and James Triantos are 18 and 19, respectively. Outfielders Pete Crow-Armstrong and Kevin Alcantara are 20 and 19. Pitcher Caleb Kilian is more seasoned and recently made his first big-league start — and looked good — but the Cubs’ No. 1 prospect, Triple-A outfielder Brennen Davis, is out for the season after back surgery. This is going to take a while, folks.