CHICAGO (AP) — Willson Contreras’ goodbye turned out to be a bit premature.
The Chicago Cubs are keeping their catcher — along with Ian Happ — at least for now after Tuesday’s trade deadline passed with no deal for the three-time All-Star.
“I do understand the emotional toll that it takes when you’re waiting on a phone call and reading rumors,” president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. “I know that would be difficult for me if I was that in that situation. I do really understand the human toll that that takes on guys.”
With the Cubs rebuilding and free agency looming, Contreras seemed sure to be traded. Fellow All-Star Happ also appeared a good bet to be dealt.
“We never found that a deal that came close to the right value,” Hoyer said.
He would not say if the Cubs will try to re-sign Contreras and build around him after the season. But the past couple weeks sure felt like one big goodbye.
Contreras got a standing ovation in what many thought would be his final home game at Wrigley Field against Pittsburgh on July 26. Teammates hugged him following Sunday’s 4-0 loss at San Francisco, thinking that might have been his last game for the Cubs.
“I’ve always had a really high opinion of how hard he plays,” Hoyer said. “And I feel like there’s no one that cares more than he does. He has an energy that is infectious and he’s a really talented catcher. I don’t think our opinion is changed at all.”
Contreras helped Chicago win the World Series and end a 108-year championship drought as a rookie in 2016.
“I’ve always had a high opinion about how hard he plays,” Hoyer said. “He’s a really talented catcher.”
This year, he got selected to his third All-Star team. Making it even sweeter, Willson and William Contreras of the…