Cubs Trade Rumors: Chicago Expected to Be 'Aggressive,' 'Motivated' to Make Move

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs sits in the dugout after the final out in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on September 25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs are expected to be "aggressive" and "motivated" to trade someone this offseason after missing the postseason for the first time since 2014 this year, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Chicago (84-78) finished in third place in the National League Central in 2019.

Passan noted that catcher Willson Contreras, third baseman Kris Bryant, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Kyle Schwarber and outfielder Albert Almora Jr. could all be trade candidates. The one player who does not appear to be on the table is shortstop Javier Baez, who Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported last month is having extension talks.

Contreras is coming off arguably his finest season to date, as the four-year veteran hit .272/.355/.533 with 24 home runs and 64 RBI this past season. The 27-year-old could be a valuable trade chip as he is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter and is under club control through 2022.

Bryant, meanwhile, hit .282/.382/.521 with 31 home runs and 77 RBI in 2019. The Cubs have previously looked to extend the 2016 NL MVP, but Bryant reportedly rejected a $200 million offer last year.

Bryant made it clear in March that he would "absolutely" love to finish his career in Chicago. It's worth noting, though, that he is locked in a grievance with the club, as he claims the team manipulated his service time in 2015 in order to delay his free agency by a year.

Rizzo is under contract through the 2020 season, though the Cubs hold a $16.5 million club option for 2021 as well. Schwarber is in his second year of arbitration and is under club control through 2021, while Almora has three years of club control remaining as he enters the arbitration process for the first time this winter.

The hot stove season is only just getting started, but it's already been a notable offseason in the Windy City. The Cubs and former manager Joe Maddon parted ways at the conclusion of the season. On Monday, the team non-tendered 2016 All-Star Addison Russell, who missed the first 28 games of 2019 as part of a domestic violence suspension and later spent time in the minors.