Willson Contreras is the longest-tenured player in the Cubs’ organization, but the catcher is realistic enough to know that his time with the North Siders could be nearing an end. The Trade Deadline is a month away and Contreras’ name is right in the middle of the rumors and speculation.
That is a big reason why Contreras says that wearing the Cubs’ logo at the All-Star Game would be important to him.
“To wear the Cubs jersey in the All-Star Game, I'm proud of that,” said the veteran Contreras, who signed with the Cubs as a 17-year-old kid out of Venezuela. “This is my house. This is my home. It's been my home for 14 years. I don't think many players can say that.
“The first time that I got here was in 2009 and nobody was here. I've seen everybody come to this club. And wearing the jersey of the Cubs, it really means a lot to me. It's going to mean a lot to my family, because they gave me the opportunity to become a professional baseball player.”
Contreras won Phase 1 of this year’s All-Star voting for his position in the National League, making the second round of this year’s balloting process with Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Phase 2 of voting will run from 11 p.m. CT on Tuesday through 1 p.m. CT on Friday on MLB.com.
Contreras’ younger brother, Braves catcher William Contreras, also reached Phase 2, but in the designated hitter category. The only other finalist is Phillies star Bryce Harper, who is currently out with a fractured left thumb. That creates a real possibility for William to join his older brother Willson, who is a two-time All-Star, at the Midsummer Classic in Los Angeles.
The Contreras brothers would become the first Major League brothers to make an All-Star team in the same season since Bret and Aaron Boone in 2003. The last brothers to be in the same starting lineup at an All-Star Game were Roberto Alomar and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1992.
“Hopefully we get to share it with my brother,” said Willson Contreras, who then smiled. “We will have a nice party, for sure. His first full year, I hope he gets the opportunity to get to L.A. Hopefully, we can achieve the All-Star Game together.”
The Cubs catcher laughed when asked if he would remind William that he was the backup catcher.
“He's a DH now,” Contreras quipped. “Man, it makes me proud to see my brother playing well in the big leagues.”