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Cubs avoid arbitration with catcher Willson Contreras


CHICAGO – He’s one of the last remaining standouts from the previous era of the club while also being arguably the most productive player on their 2022 team.

Yet Willison Contreras and the Cubs had still yet to settle on a contract for this season, with the sides still haggling over a price while approaching a Thursday arbitration hearing.

But just before that happen, the team confirmed that they have, at last, come to a contract agreement for this season on Thursday, which was a scheduled day off before they start a three-game series with the Yankees in New York.

Per numerous reports, including Jesse Rogers of ESPN, the deal is worth $9.625 million for 2022. Contreras is due to be an unrestricted free agent after this season and could be another player from the team’s championship core that is dealt at the trade deadline should the club not show the intention of signing him to a long-term deal.

In his seventh year at the major league level, the 30-year-old Contreras is hitting .277/.403/.530 with ten home runs and 23 RB and is on track for his highest batting average since his rookie year of 2016. In the month of May, Contreras hit .289 with six homers and 11 RBI and already has two round-trippers and five runs driven in so far in June with a .318 average.

The catcher figures to be the Cubs’ best candidate to be an All-Star in 2022, with the voting starting this week. Contreras was elected to the midsummer classic in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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