1. Willson Contreras
Jose Trevino’s been a defensive game-changer since joining the Yankees in a surprise pre-Opening Day trade. Kyle Higashioka has been … barely there offensively, but is providing excellent framing, as per usual.
Unfortunately … neither of them … really constitute … offense. While we appreciate Trevino, it might be nicer if he were a stunningly effective backup, slotted in behind someone who can both hold it down defensively and bash a clutch bomb every so often to fire up the crowd.
Enter Willson Contreras … or so we thought this offseason, when the Cubs signed Yan Gomes and he tweeted plane emojis around the non-tender deadline. Apparently, Chicago still saw a future for the slugger with the organization after they spread all his friends around the country, and so far, he’s off to an excellent start in his walk year.
That means the price of a deadline deal just went WAY up, as the Cubs continue to flatline by design.
Contreras has already racked up 1.1 WAR on the young season, hitting .279 with a trio of bombs, good for a well-above-league-average 147 OPS+. Does the “league average” truly stink this year with the dead ball in place? Absolutely. But, for a defensive talent behind the plate, Contreras’ numbers are quite impressive, and would serve as a stark difference for a Yankees team that seems willing to accept a zero from its catchers.
Contreras might be available, but not to the Bombers — unless they’re willing to ditch Higashioka and throw in an extra prospect so the Cubs’ll pay his entire salary like last summer’s Rizzo deal redux.