"Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter," Passan wrote. "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."
Contreras, 27, had 24 home runs, 64 RBI and a .272 batting average in 105 games last season. His .888 OPS was a career-high.
A catcher entering his age-28 season and coming off his most productive year should command a sizable haul, but the potential move doesn't make sense given his performance and his status under team control through 2022, per Cot's Baseball Contracts.
Early reaction around Twitter was not in favor of a potential Contreras trade for the Cubs, with comments here from New York Yankees analyst Max Wildstein:
Regardless of what Chicago decides, the Cubs do need some changes following a disappointing 84-78 campaign that ended without a postseason appearance on the North Side for the first time since 2014.
One big move has already been made: Manager Joe Maddon and Chicago parted ways, and ex-Cubs catcher David Ross is now the skipper. Chicago also exercised its 2020 option on first baseman Anthony Rizzo, according to ESPN's Jesse Rogers.
Elsewhere, a few big names have hit free agency, including southpaw Cole Hamels, outfielder Nick Castellanos and second baseman Ben Zobrist, so decisions need to be made there.
Chicago will begin the 2020 season on Thursday, March 26, against the Milwaukee Brewers.