With the MLB trade deadline less than a week away, players all over the league will be saying their final goodbyes to the only team and fan base they’ve known throughout their big league careers.
Chicago Cubs’ Willson Contreras and Ian Happ might have done exactly that on Tuesday.
With the Cubs’ porous record this season, they will, once again, be selling off whatever assets they have, with the catcher and outfielder being two prime trade targets for plenty of other teams in pennant races.
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Knowing they’ll more than likely be traded on or before Aug. 2, they shared an emotional hug in the dugout after their game on Tuesday, which was likely their final one at Wrigley Field as Cubs.
“It’s been a tough couple days for me,” a choked up Contreras said after the game, via The Chicago Tribune. “I’m trying to appreciate everything Wrigley Field is, thinking about all the memories that I have here since 2016…
“This is probably my last home stand with the fans this year. It’s tough for me. I knew it would get to me at some point. I wish this day never came. But it’s a business. I know that. I respect that.”
Contreras, now 30, has been with the organization since he was 17 years old.
“It’s hard. This is the only thing I know,” he said.”
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“I love my team,” he added. “I love my teammates most and I don’t want to get too attached because you never know what’s going to happen next week or even this week in San Francisco. It’s been a tough, tough couple of days for me.”
Happ joined the major league club a year after Contreras, just missing the franchise’s first World Series in 108 years, but he knows it has to come to an end.
“It’s crazy to think you could wake up one day and not be here,” Happ said. “It’s part of the game. It’s part of what we sign up to do.”
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If it was their final game calling Wrigley Field home, they ended it the right way – the Cubs beat their division rival Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-2. Happ drove in two runs, and Contreras scored a run, with both players going 1-for-4 on the afternoon.