This Trade Between the Cubs and Braves for Willson Contreras Could Actually Work

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Brian McCann's retirement paired with missing out on former top free agent Yasmani Grandal has left the Atlanta Braves with a catching predicament heading into 2020.

Lucky for them, the Chicago Cubs are reportedly entertaining trade offers two-time All-Star Willson Contreras, and the Braves boast enough riches within their farm system to make a deal happen.

Willson Contreras Contract

Contreras' contract will expire at the end of the 2020 season, and his current deal with Chicago sees him raking in just $4.5 million per year. Atlanta wouldn't have much control over Willy, but their promising future paired with a guaranteed starting role should be enough to convince him to sign a long term deal with the franchise.

In return, the Braves could offer top catching prospect Shea Langeliers as well as touted pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa who rank as the fifth and 10th rated prospects in Atlanta's system.

With Contreras joining the squad, there would simply be no room for Langeliers, who Atlanta drafted with the No. 9 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft in June, on the roster. Langeliers' hitting needs to undergo some maturation, but his defense is MLB-ready as he threw out a whopping 70% of runners in his sophomore season at Baylor.

Ynoa, on the other hand would give Chicago some much-needed youthful pitching. His minor league numbers in 2019 -- 4-8 with a 5.09 ERA across 26 appearances (17 starts) -- aren't all that alluring, but that was largely due to poor command as he walked 44 batters in 97.1 innings. Refining that command, of course, will come with time as he is just 21-years-old.

Ynoa's performance even earned him a promotion to the big leagues in mid-June, so the Braves clearly value his potential.

The pairing of Langeliers and Ynoa might be viewed as a steep return package, but Contreras is one of the top catchers in the league.

Plus, acquiring Contreras would put him in the same system as his younger brother William, who is a top prospect in the Braves' farm.

Slotting the 26-year-old behind the plate and into the middle of the lineup would catapult the Braves from contenders to favorites in the NL, and it would behoove them to get Theo Epstein on the phone as soon as possible.