The Seattle Mariners should go after two-time All-Star Willson Contreras
Another interesting idea is going after the Chicago Cubs catcher, Willson Contreras. He is another core Chicago Cubs player and he might be a trade chip if the Cubs follow through with the transition they have mentioned. Contreras has played five seasons and been an All-Star twice. Contreras has been one of the better offensive catchers in the MLB and his defense is not that shabby either.
Contreras will be entering his second of three arbitration-eligible years. He signed a $4.5 million contract in January to avoid arbitration, so that tells you a little about how affordable he is. Contreras is 28-years-old and will probably be expecting a long-term extension soon enough, but he will not be asking for Buster Posey like numbers. Posey is currently the most expensive catcher and earns about $22 million per year.
I would expect Contreras to be in the $15 million per year range if he has another good season. That would put him in between Yasmani Grandal and Salvador Perez, which seems just about right. Again, Jerry Dipoto would need confidence that Contreras can be a long term option for the Mariners because the team does have some catchers already on the roster. The Mariners currently have Tom Murphy, Luis Torrens, and Cal Raleigh in the minors. It might make sense to trade Cal Raleigh or Luis Torrens and another prospect for Contreras.
Contreras could become the everyday starter, and if Murphy plays wells or is showing promise, he could be another trade piece like Austin Nola was. And that way, the young Torrens or Raleigh could slot in as a backup and look to be the long term catcher after Contreras. The Cubs are looking to move on from some of its core players, and if Contreras is one of them, he should be highly considered because he would be an upgrade for the current Seattle Mariners catchers.