The Chicago Cubs didn’t have a lot to cheer for in 2021. They were mostly a bad baseball team that saw them tear down everything that they had built over the last decade. There were, however, some things to be proud of. They didn’t trade away Willson Contreras as he has another year left on his contract.
Contreras was nominated for the All-MLB Team as a catcher. He is competing against Salvador Perez, Will Smith, Buster Posey, Mike Zunino, J.T. Realmuto, and Yasmani Grandal for the honor. It is all for a fan vote so everyone is encouraged to go vote for their favorites!
On a team level, as mentioned before, the Cubs were a disgrace. On a personal level, however, Contreras had an outstanding year. He slashed .237/.340/.438 for an OPS of .778. He had 21 home runs, 51 RBIs, and 61 runs scored on top of that. These offensive stats combined with his outstanding play behind the plate accumulated a 4.1 WAR on the season.
Contreras may or may not deserve to make the All-MLB team but seeing him on the list of nominees is really nice. He has been one of the best players that the team has ever had and he has been loyal to them during some very tough times.
Willson Contreras has been outstanding for the Chicago Cubs over the years.
With that one year left on his deal, it is fair to say that his future with the team is in doubt. He is going into the offseason in the same situation as some of their former core did last year. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. If they don’t want to sign their potential All-MLB Team catcher long-term, they should look to get something for him.
Contreras isn’t the only person who played for the Cubs in 2021 to find themselves on this ballot. Craig Kimbrel, who was traded to the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline, is also on the list for relievers. His time with the Cubs earned him this nomination more than his time on the White Sox, despite the fact that they were a first-place team.
Kris Bryant, who was traded to the San Francisco Giants on the same day as Kimbrel was dealt, is also a nominee for the outfield. He was used all over the diamond for both teams in 2021 but they decided to nominate him as an outfielder for the outstanding season that he had. Kyle Schwarber didn’t play for the Cubs in 2021 but he is worth mentioning as another player that is nominated for the outfield.
It is nice to see these players who meant so much to the team be recognized. It is especially nice for Willson as he still wears that jersey and wants to continue wearing it. He has been a pleasure to have on the Cubs through the good times and bad.