MLB Rumors: Astros Could Trade For Willson Contreras

Willson Contreras
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Ernesto Cova

Once again, and even despite losing Carlos Correa to the Minnesota Twins, the Houston Astros have been one of the best teams in Major League Baseball this season.

Despite not boasting the best record in the league like the New York Yankees, they've proven over and over that they can match up perfectly against the best teams in the league. But just like it happens with most rosters, even their star-studded lineup could use an upgrade.

They Need An Upgrade Behind The Plate

Houston Astros
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The Astros are getting virtually no offensive production from the catcher position. And, while they have solid defensive options behind the plate, that may not be enough come postseason time:

"The duo of Jason Castro and Mártin Maldonado, while defensively sound, are both already 35-years-old. That’s not even to mention their combined .133/.216/.236 slash line," reported Atros insider Kevin Kraczkowski. Clearly, both have seen better offensive seasons, but even at a defense-first position such as catcher, the two rank dead last in terms of productivity out of the 30 major league teams."

A Prospect May Not Be The Answer

Minute Maid Park
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It's clear that the Astros trust star prospect, Korey Lee, to be their catcher for the future. But as good as he's been defensively this season, he wouldn't be that much of an offensive upgrade:

"Some might point to the Astros’ affiliate system and name-check current number-two prospect Korey Lee," Kraczkowski added. "The 23-year-old righty has likely the strongest arm in the system from behind the plate, clocking in with a scouting grade of 70. He threw out 43 percent of basestealers last season in the minors, and he can hit for power. Unfortunately, he’s currently hitting just .216 at Triple-A with the Sugar Land Skeeters."

Contreras Is A Win-Now Piece

Willson Contreras
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With that in mind, they could turn their attention to Willson Contreras, who's expected to be on the move as he'll become a free agent at the end of the season:

"Just barely north of 30, Contreras was a two-time All Star, a capable if not flashy defensive catcher, and a continuing offensive threat. With a .264/.379/.495 line which works out to a 144 OPS+, 109 total bases (just one off the team lead), and a major league-leading 14 HBP, Contreras will work any and every angle to get on base," Kraczkowski concluded.

Contreras And The Cubs Are All But Done

Willson Contreras
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The Chicago Cubs don't seem interested in bringing back Contreras for another year. Despite being one of the most beloved and respected veterans on the team, they've failed to offer him a suitable contract extension and even brought in Yan Gomes to replace him.

The Astros may face steep competition to acquire his services, but he's the missing piece they need to win another World Series.