Contreras doesn't rule out Cubs return on qualifying offer

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Willson Contreras returned to the starting lineup Tuesday after spending close to a month on the injured list with a left ankle sprain.

The Cubs catcher met the media before their series opener against the Phillies, a conversation full of questions about his future, including potentially receiving a qualifying offer from the Cubs after this season.

Contreras declined to say whether he would accept a qualifying offer from the Cubs but wouldn’t rule it out.

“At this point, I’m not even going to answer,” Contreras said. “I’m going to wait and see what’s next, but we have to consider it.”

The qualifying offer is a one-year deal that, last winter, was worth $18.4 million.

If a player turns down the deal and signs elsewhere, his former team receives draft pick compensation.

Contreras, who’s in his 14th year in the Cubs organization, is set to become a free agent for the first time after this season. 

His name was a fixture on the rumor mill leading up to the Aug. 2 trade deadline, but the Cubs ultimately did not deal him.

Contreras was also asked whether he would be offended if the Cubs tender him a qualifying offer, which many expect to happen.

“I won't be offended because it's part of the business,” Contreras said. “I think that's the reason why my price at the trade deadline was really high. Because they knew that by making the qualifying offer, they can get a first-round pick. 

“I'm not gonna get offended,” Contreras added.

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