The Chicago Cubs rebounded from a five-run deficit to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 in 10 innings on Sunday, ending a 17-games-in-17-day stretch with a 5-12 record.
However, while the Sunday comeback was certainly a fulfilling experience for the Cubs, now the players have to make a decision before the trade deadline on August 2, as the end of June is quickly approaching.
As shown by the sell-off in July 2021, no one is exactly untouchable. The Cubs have been in free fall for weeks, making another sell-off unavoidable.
Cubs boss David Ross said dealing with trade talks and speculations is just another day at the office for him.
“Last year was a good learning experience for me,” he said. “If they have questions they come into my office, and I try to fill them in as best I can of what I’m hearing and pass that along to (Cubs President Jed Hoyer) if I need to.”
First on the Cubs’ most likely-to-be-traded list: Willson Contreras is clearly maximizing his value for his possible pending free agency. Having played three straight games as the designated hitter on Sunday, he is presently considered the best receiver on the market. According to Ross, Contreras was in good spirits, and he remained the same person every day.
Contreras said that he wasn’t thinking about the trade deadline. “Even if I’m not playing, I’m doing my best to keep these guys on track and helping them any way I can.”
Signed as an international free agent in 2009, Contreras has been with the team longer than any other Cubs player. The 30-year-old said he liked being in Chicago and considered the Cubs his home.
“It’s been my home for 14 years. It’s important to me and my family. They gave me a chance to be a professional baseball player,” Contreras said. Previously, the Venezuelan native had also said he would be “proud” to wear a Chicago jersey at the upcoming All-Star Game in Los Angeles.Fellow Venezuelan Rafael Ortega is another potential trade candidate. According to him, trade speculation is a risk that comes with the job for any player, and he has been honest when talking about it with the reporters.
“I saw it from a distance, I saw what was going on,” said the 31-year-old through an interpreter. “I don’t just play for my team. I also play for other (29) teams that are looking here. They may have scouts and people watch (me).”
“I only control what I can control. Other players have seen it together. If another team might be interested in me, that would be an honor for me, and I would be excited about it.”
David Robertson is also a candidate for trade, particularly for teams looking for late relief. When asked whether the 37-year-old wanted to stay with the Cubs, D-Rob said, “I love Chicago. This is my second time here (after playing for the White Sox). If I don’t like it, I’m not coming back.”
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