Willson Contreras Declines Qualifying Offer

Willson Contreras's run with the Chicago Cubs appears to finally be at an end. After seven seasons on the North Side, the three-time All-Star officially became a free agent after he declined the club's $19.65M qualifying offer. He'll now seek a multi-year deal on the open market.The Cubs had a chance to acquire something for the free agent-to-be catcher at the trade deadline. But Houston Astros owner Jim Crane put the kibosh on a deal that had already been agreed to by the Cubs and Astros GM James Click. 

Contreras is the last remaining holdover from the Cubs' 2016 World Series winning team—a club that snapped the Cubs' 108-year drought. He's averaged .256 with an .808 OPS in his seven years with the Cubbies, this year adding 22 home runs and 55 RBIs to his totals and making his 3rd All-Star appearance. 

“It’s a little weird for me,” Contreras said as the season came to an end. “This is the first time that basically I don’t have a team since 2008.

"This is a spot that I wanted to be since I was a kid, and I did everything I could to reach free agency. At the same time it makes me a little nostalgic to leave my team. But everything happens for a reason, and I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

He fought back tears after what he thought was his last game as a Cub at Wrigley Field as the trade deadline hit at the beginning of August.