SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Willson Contreras received hugs and handshakes from teammates after striking out in the ninth inning Sunday night in what was likely his last game with the Chicago Cubs.
The three-time All-Star catcher is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and expects to be traded to a contender before Tuesday’s 6 p.m. EDT trade deadline. The Cubs are off on Monday before playing Tuesday night in St. Louis.
Contreras punched out against Giants closer Camilo Doval in a 4-0 loss at San Francisco to lead off the ninth, then let it sink in that his seven seasons with Chicago had likely ended. The backstop was a rookie on the Cubs’ 2016 World Series championship team.
“That’s when I realized that it was the last game before the deadline,” he told reporters. “It hit me a little bit there.”
Contreras is hitting .252 with 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .818 OPS this season.
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