You probably didn’t see this one coming.
In theory, the Texas Rangers are set at catcher with Jose Trevino and Jonah Heim. And that’s true for now, as both are serviceable options. For 2022, that tandem works.
But going forward? The ceilings on both players are limited, and as the team’s overall ceiling continues to rise, they’ll want a catcher that can match that potential.
That’s where Willson Contreras comes in.
One of the best catchers in the game, Contreras is surprisingly stated to hit the open market barring the Cubs extending him. But if that doesn’t happen after the lockout, it probably never will.
Contreras would be a perfect mentor to a team that will have a few young pitchers joining them in a year or two. He would give the Rangers their best catcher since Pudge Rodriguez.
I don’t believe there’s any catcher in the Texas organization that offers the upside of Willson Contreras. I’m not convinced Sam Huff is the answer long term behind the plate, nor David Garcia. Or Yohel Pozo. And unfortunately, Trevino and Heim probably aren’t more than backup players on a contending roster. Really good ones, at that.
Unless the Rangers plan to draft a catcher with their first round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft (their Adley Rutschman), Willson Contreras feels like a slam dunk free agent target for Texas to pursue next winter.