SAN FRANCISCO – It’s been a very long goodbye over the last week for one of the faces of the Cubs’ franchise over the last decade.
It began last Tuesday when Willson Contreras was saluted by fans at Wrigley Field before his last home game before the Major League Baseball trade deadline this Tuesday. The All-Star catcher is likely to dealt as he completes the final year of his contract and the Cubs are looking to add more prospects in their current rebuild.
As fans and fellow teammates have saluted Contreras for his contributions to the team since then, they’ve done so as the team has played a four-game series against the Giants in San Francisco. The finale of that series came on Sunday when the Cubs gave the catcher one last salute.
After the Cubs lost to the Giants 4-0 at Oracle Park, which gave San Francisco the series win 3-1, a number of players walked over to Contreras to shake his hand or give him a hug after what will likely be his last game with the team.
David Bote and Christopher Morel were among those that went to Contreras in the dugout to give their best, which was captured by the ESPN game broadcast.
The catcher started the game and went 0-for-4 at the plate while also catching for five different Cubs pitchers over the course of nine innings. Ian Happ, another player likely to be traded at the deadline, also started in left field and went 1-for-4 in the defeat.
After the four-game series in San Francisco, the Cubs have Monday off before they start a three-game set with the Cardinals in St. Louis on Tuesday. The team is likely to look different after the trade deadline is finished with their No. 1 catcher likely to play somewhere else.
But like all week, players gave Contreras one last salute for what he’s done in Chicago with the Cubs, including three All-Star appearances and aiding four playoff runs, including the 2016 World Series championship.