SAN FRANCISCO — Moments after Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco Giants, Willson Contreras was sitting in the visitors’ dugout at Oracle Park when he hit him.
He realized this was the Chicago Cubs’ last game before Tuesday’s trade deadline at 5:00 p.m. If, as expected, Contreras is traded, Sunday marked his last game with the only organization. that he has known since he signed as a teenager from Venezuela.
So Contreras stared at the field. He accepted hugs from teammates on their way to the clubhouse. And now all he can do is wait.
“We’ll see what happens,” Contreras said afterwards. “It’s going to be a long day. It’s been a long, long, long week. A long, long month for me. But I’m ready for this to end.”
There are less than 48 hours left for the immediate future of Contreras to be resolved. For now he is stuck in limbo: a Cub unless told otherwise.
“To be honest, this is the first time in my career that I’m in this position,” Contreras said. “It’s not easy. I just want this to be over. If they’re going to trade me, they’re going to trade me. If they don’t want to trade me, don’t. But I just want this day to pass and stay focused on playing baseball. I just want it to be over.” ”.
The Cubs will spend their day off Monday in St. Louis before their three-game series that begins shortly after the deadline. Contreras planned to try to keep busy during the downtime, suggesting that he could play video games or visit the hotel pool while he kept an eye on his phone.
Tuesday night’s roster could look quite different, depending on how hard the Cubs’ front office tries to dismantle it again. Ian Happ also might have worn a Cubs uniform for the last time on Sunday.
It became clear during the four-game series in San Francisco that the trade deadline and an unknown future were weighing on Contreras. Manager David Ross acknowledged over the weekend that he affected the 30-year-old receiver on the field.
Contreras went 0-for-4 in the Cubs’ 4-0 loss on Sunday to finish July batting .149 with four extra-base hits, six walks and 25 strikeouts in 19 games.
“It’s hard because every time you have a little bit of free time, your mind immediately goes to trading rumors or a trade,” Contreras said. “I wish it wasn’t a thing, but I won’t lie, I talked to Ross about it. Is not easy. You have to learn to deal with this.
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“This is my first time in this position. If it happens a second time, I’ll have an idea how to handle it. This is all I can say.”
If Contreras’ union with the Cubs ends, the soon-to-be free agent said he can walk away with his head held high because of everything he’s accomplished since making his debut in 2016.
“Obviously this game shows us that it’s not about feelings. It’s about business,” Contreras said. “And that’s something I learned this year.
“I care. I care a lot about my pitching. I care a lot about the game calls and I care a lot about improving the team. I care a lot about winning. I know this team is not built to win this year, not even close.”
The Cubs can expect this to be the last year for a while that they’re sellers at the trade deadline. Meanwhile, a potential flurry of trades looms.
“It’s a double-edged sword, right? No news to me is good news,” Ross said. “All the players are still here. Awesome. When we do a trade, it’s like, OK, I’m happy for (Chris) Martin to go get another ring, but I’m also happy to meet a new piece of our future puzzle.
“You hate losing guys you depend on, guys who work hard. You are grateful for that. It is a sad but happy day. There are two sides to that from the manager’s seat.”