Report: Rival teams believe Cubs could trade Willson Contreras
The Chicago Cubs could be about to embark on an offseason of significant change, and it could start at the catcher position.
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, multiple teams believe that the Cubs will make catcher Willson Contreras available for trade this offseason as part of a retooling effort.
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 8, 2019
Barring any changes, the Cubs are likely facing a payroll approaching $190 million for Opening Day 2020. Kris Bryant and Javier Baez are both heading for arbitration hearings that will make them both more expensive. Contreras is, too, and the price will only keep going up. Yasmani Grandal leads a crop of intriguing free agent catchers, and the Cubs may go that route instead.
Contreras hit .272 with a career-high 24 home runs for the Cubs last season in 105 games. He has been a source of frustration for the team at times, which could also help them be comfortable with opting to move on.