Cubs rumors: MLB insider hints Willson Contreras trade could happen before season

The last prominent remaining player from the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series team still with the organization could find himself elsewhere soon.

If only the breakup of the first Chicago Cubs World Series team in over a century didn’t have to be so unceremonious.

First, the Cubs traded away Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, three crucial players from that championship core, to the Yankees, SF Giants and Mets, respectively in 2021. Could Willson Contreras be next? At least one MLB insider believes that could happen.

Last season didn’t go as planned for the Cubs, who evidently scrapped any best laid plans at the trade deadline in an effort to get younger. But despite their sell-off, they held on to Contreras, a sign that maybe Chicago was intending to make their All-Star catcher part of a future core as well.

So much for that, apparently.

MLB insider: Willson Contreras on the trade block again

Bruce Levine, who covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score, lists the Yankees and Padres as potential suitors in a trade should the North Siders opt to deal Contreras. And as he points out as well, the return package could be significant for the Cubs. That seems right, given Contreras’ overall production at a premium position. We’re probably talking about multiple top prospects, at least.

Trading Contreras before this season would increase his value should the Cubs do so, given that he’s expected to hit free agency next winter. The acquiring team would have his services for just a year unless they agree to an extension, but that’s still more than waiting until, say, this summer’s trade deadline, to acquire him as a mere multi-month rental.

Interestingly enough, Chicago inked two major free agents this off-season in Marcus Stroman (who is a big Contreras fan) and Seiya Suzuki, so we’re not entirely sure what their direction is for the time being. Trading Contreras would only muddy the waters more heading into the season, but that scenario looks to be on the table for now.