MLB rumors: Yankees, Mets among top contenders for All-Star catcher

Going, going, gone?

The Chicago Cubs are expected to trade two-time All-Star catcher Willson Contreras before the Aug. 2 deadline.

That’s because the Cubs are going nowhere this year (23-32, fourth place in the National League Central) and Contreras will be a free agent after the season.

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MLB.com identified six potential landing spots for Contreras. One of them is the New York Yankees:

Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka are adding good value behind the plate and absolutely nothing next to it (.220 / .267 / .314), but a path to DH playing time for Contreras might not be so clear when Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson are each available. For Yankees fans worried that three spots in the lineup aren’t producing – depending on how you feel about Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo – that might be a concern worth dealing with. But given the well-stated dedication to improving defense in the infield and behind the plate – which has worked – Contreras might not be a step in the direction that the Yankees are headed.

Also on the list are the New York Mets:

New York does have a highly-paid backstop on the mend in James McCannwho is in the midst of a four-year, $ 40 million contract. That deal, however, never really made a ton of sense at the time, and so far, McCann has hit only .227 / .290 / .341 as a Met. In his absence recovering from a broken hamate bone, Tomás Nido and Pat Mazeika have hit just .229 / .246 / .305 themselves. As a group, it’s the seventh-weakest offensive production from catcher, and while it’s probably not as big a need as pitching depth is, it’s not hard to see how this could work, either. Without Robinson Cano or Dominic Smiththere’s more DH time available, and if any team can live with having a highly-paid backup like McCann, it’s this Mets team.

The other contenders for Contreras, according to MLB.com, are the Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.

This season, Contreras is hitting .276 with nine home runs in 46 games.

MORE MLB:

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Yankees, Mets set to battle for ‘biggest prize’ on trade market, MLB insider says

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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com.

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