Cubs Wilson Contreras emotionally reflects on potential final home stand at Wrigley.

The words stuck in Wilson Contreras’ throat and he swallowed hard.

“It’s hard,” he said.

His voice broke as he sorted through the emotions of the Cubs’ final home series before the Aug. 2 trade deadline, his final two games at Wrigley Field as a Cub. Of course, nothing happens until the trade paperwork is completed or the deadline is passed. But Contreras saw three teammates go through something similar this time last year.

Anthony Rizzo, Javy Báez and Kris Bryant were all in their final year of club control, as is Contreras this year, when the Cubs dealt him last offseason. So, he knew what might lie ahead. It didn’t make it easy.

“I wish these days would never come,” Contreras said. “But it’s about business. I understand that, I respect that. And I love my team. I love my teammates the most, and I’m not too attached to them. Because you never know what’s going to happen next week, or even this week in San Francisco. It’s been a tough few days for me.”

He was still fighting back tears.

“He’s a special player, he’s a special guy,” said manager David Ross, who also played with Contreras in his 2016 rookie season. “And he’s done special things here. And to see him improve, not just as a player, but as a teammate. Those qualities have come through.”

Contreras has become attached, not only to the city where he spent his entire major league career, or the teammates he grew up with in the organization, but also rookies like Christopher Morell and Nelson Velazquez.

When he debuted that season, the Cubs clustered their lockers near Contreras in the Wrigley Field clubhouse.

“For me, he means a lot to the Cubs,” Velazquez told the Sun-Times. “… If I get the chance, I’d love to have him around for the rest of my career.” Because he’s a good teammate, he’s a great guy who brings a lot of energy to the clubhouse.

They may not get this opportunity.

On Monday, Contreras, who went 1-4-3 in the Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Pirates, soaked in the heat in the eighth inning for his final at-bat of the game and rookie reliever Scott Efros’ career. Caught his first catch. save it

“I’m just trying to appreciate everything about Wrigley Field, and thinking about all the memories I’ve had here since 2016. [in the organization] From 2009 until now,” Contreras said. “It’s probably — I don’t know — but maybe this year is my last house standing with fans. This is difficult for me. It’s really tough.”

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