Contreras: I'm open to extension if Cubs 'want to rebuild around me'
In fact, the two-time All-Star catcher is already looking forward to serving as a big part of the next great Cubs teams. Although the club is now shifting directions, Contreras is very open to signing on long term and being the centerpiece of the upcoming rebuild.
"I would love to stay here. I love Chicago. I love my city. I love the team," Contreras said, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. "This is the only team that I've played for. If they want to rebuild around me, I'm open to talks."
Contreras broke out as a rookie on the Cubs' historic 2016 championship team and has since evolved into their everyday catcher. He's enjoying another solid season behind the plate, hitting .236/.345/.441 with 17 homers, 37 RBIs, and four stolen bases in 93 games.
Unlike his now-former teammates who were dealt Friday, Contreras isn't eligible for free agency until after next year.
If the Cubs don't see Contreras as part of their long-term plans, he'll likely become a top trade candidate this offseason. His name surfaced in several rumors last winter, though nothing materialized.
The 29-year-old is now one of the last remaining pieces of the Cubs' homegrown championship core. For Contreras, saying goodbye to longtime teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, among others, was "tough," but he accepts that this might be best for the future, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers.
As far as his own future on the North Side goes, Contreras isn't sweating it one bit.
"I'm not thinking of getting moved," he said, according to Mooney. "I'm thinking of guiding these guys in the right way. I'm trying to be the leader. I'm going to do my best."
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