Willson Contreras officially rejects qualifying offer, heads to open market
Willson Contreras has rejected the Cubs’ qualifying offer and will hit the open market.
The Cubs tagged the 30-year-old catcher with the qualifying offer last week — had he accepted it, it would have been a one-year deal valued at $19.65 million. Instead, Contreras will hit the open market and, if he signs elsewhere, the Cubs will receive draft-pick compensation (which will come after the 2nd round).
The move, on both sides, was expected. Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer has stated for months that they would extend Contreras the qualifying offer and it was expected Contreras would reject it.
It’s still possible that the two sides can work out a deal for a reunion but it’s more likely that Contreras signs elsewhere, departing the franchise he’s been with since he signed in 2009.
The Cubs have stated their preference to take a defensive and game-planning approach with the catcher position. Yan Gomes and P.J. Higgins are the only catchers with big-league experience on the 40-man roster. Miguel Amaya is on the 40-man roster, but he’s caught just 12 games in the last two seasons while dealing with Tommy John surgery and, most recently, a Lisfranc fracture.
In his career with the Cubs, Contreras slashed .256/.349/.459 with 117 home runs, 365 RBI, an OPS+ of 115, three All-Star appearances and a World Series title in 2016.