As to who would be interested in acquiring him, it would have to be a team with a need behind the plate, of course. But given that he only has one year of control, it would also have to be a win-now club. Let’s look at which teams could fit the bill.
Cleveland: Roberto Perez can be controlled for 2022 with a club option valued at $7MM. However, he’s now two years removed from his excellent 2019 season. Since then, he’s only played 76 games due to various injuries and hit .155/.253/.277 for a wRC+ of 49. Austin Hedges got 85 starts at catcher this year and hit just .178/.220/.308 for a wRC+ of 40. There’s certainly room for improvement on that kind of production. The club also has maximum payroll flexibility. Once they exercise their $11MM club option on Jose Ramirez, that will bring their total 2022 payroll commitments up to the range of… $11MM. Bringing in Contreras along with a few free agents, and then having some better health in the rotation, 2022 could see the club easily surpass their 80-82 record from this year.
Mariners: After surprising the baseball world with a 90-win campaign, the Mariners have seemingly moved beyond rebuilding and into competing. In 2021, they gave playing time to Luis Torrens, Tom Murphy and Cal Raleigh, none of whom ran away with the job. Murphy had a tremendous season in the shortened 2020 campaign but couldn’t replicate it in 2021. He hit .202/.304/.350 this year, for a wRC+ of 87 and 1.0 fWAR. Torrens was better with the bat but was mostly being used as a designated hitter down the stretch. Raleigh has decent defensive numbers but hit a paltry .180/.223/.309 for a wRC+ of 47. Mariners’ president Jerry Dipoto recently spoke about adding more offense for 2022 and has a trade-happy reputation. Going after Contreras could be one way to add some more thump to Seattle’s lineup.