Willson Contreras tops sales power chart – NBC Chicago

Cubs Trade Chip Power Rankings, Free Willy Edition originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs have spent 21 innings over the past two nights showing national viewers exactly what this season is about, whether they’re saying it out loud, denying it or obscuring it.

Which made those two games a pair of extra commercials for what the Cubs are buying at the trade deadline.

“Our goal is to build something really special, like last time,” team president Jed Hoyer said recently. “And I think sometimes to do that you have to have a long-term view.”

It’s a distinguished way to spin it.

Here’s the most direct way ESPN’s Buster Olney observed on Sunday night: “Last year we saw a massive sell-off by the Cubs. This summer there is going to be another liquidation, let’s face it.

Rotate it if you want. Spin it over and over again (where it stops, no one knows).

But the fourth-place Cubs (23-32) have the price tags printed and the auction house open.

They’re a bit short of launch, at least until Wade Miley and possibly Drew Smyly return from the injured list.

But relievers, batters and a field specialist? They are open for business.

Power rankings from this week’s Cubs trade deadline:

1. Willson Contreras (last week: 3). Need a receiver? Need a bat? The best receiver in the game right now looks a lot like the best overall hitter that could be available on the market, increasing in market value almost every week.

The pending free agent’s OPS is at .916 and ranked fifth in the National League after another big week, this time in the nine-game week against division leader Milwaukee and the second-placed Cardinals. .

The numbers: 11 for 30 (.367) with a 1.233 OPS, six walks, three homers and a bone bruise that didn’t cost him a game.

And in case you’re wondering, the bigger question isn’t whether the Cubs reconsider and start talking about extension with the veteran who just turned 30 who has been an exceptional youth mentor. players this season, including rookie sensation Chris Morel.

The question is whether he will still wear the Cubs uniform when he plays in the All-Star Game next month.

2.David Robertson (last week: 5). The biggest jump in the polls is the rental veteran who could draw even more buzz than Contreras if he continues the kind of work he’s been doing all season in his first full season since 2019.

He has a 7 out of 9 chance to save chances with a 2.22 ERA and last week showed the value of his impact versatility in three scoreless outings which included a save and – in the nationally televised game from Saturday – a multi-inning hot spots appearance in which he went 3-3 with the bases loaded in the seventh, knocked out Paul Goldschmidt.

He finished that outing by inducing a late-inning grounder from Goldschmidt after charging the bases with two outs in the ninth.

Anyone fancy jumping into the market for a bullpen piece?

3. Ian Happ (last week: 2). The perception that Ian Happ may be had at the deadline is not going to go away until the Cubs show an interest in extending him past his final year in club control next year.

So far, another big week (1,129 OPS) against the division bigwigs has allowed Happ to be as good – and importantly, as consistent – ​​both at the plate and on the field as he is. has done in his career.

The price goes up if he wins a first All-Star bid — for trade suitors and for any potential Cubs expansion.

Which probably means fans should enjoy Happ’s breakout season while he remains on the roster.

4. Mychal Givens (last week: NR). The right-handed veteran makes his power ranking debut just in time for a return trip to Baltimore to face the team that drafted him in the second round in 2009.

Another rental, the closer ex-Orioles quietly went 4-0 with a 3.22 ERA with a 12.1 strikeout rate (per nine innings) which is just behind Robertson’s 12.5 on the team. He is coming off a May 2.25 in which he knocked out 63% of the batters he faced.

5.Andrelton Simmons (last week: NR). Another newcomer to the standings, the four-time Golden Glove winner has backed up that pitch reputation with brilliant play since his debut in mid-May after opening the season at IL nursing a shoulder problem.

He’s perfect and affordable for a team that has a lot of strikes but needs to beef up its run prevention for October, right the White Sox?

*Checks MLB batters*

OK, maybe another team that actually hits.

Dropped: Marcus Stroman (last week: 1; gave up a career-high nine points), Drew Smyly (last week: 4; 15-day IL, oblique).

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