On Friday, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that the Chicago Cubs would consider trading starting catcher Willson Contreras, who has established himself as one of the best players at the position over the last three campaigns.
When you couple his production -- he was an All-Star in both 2018 and 2019 -- with his cheap salary (he's scheduled to make just $4.5 million in 2020), Contreras will have a plethora of teams vying for his services. But which clubs should pursue the 27-year-old?
3. San Diego Padres
The Padres had a disappointing 2019 season, finishing 26 games below .500 at 70-92. However, they boast some of the most promising young talent in MLB and are prepared to make a splash this offseason to get them over the hump. Where San Diego needs the most help, however, is the catcher position. Starter Austin Hedges slashed an abysmal .176/.252/.311 to go with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs across 312 at bats. Contreras would serve as a perfect compliment to the likes of Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Fernando Tatis Jr in the middle of the Padres lineup.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
Yasmani Grandal, an All-Star in 2019, declined his club option with the Brewers for 2020 in favor of testing the free agent waters. Assuming Milwaukee isn't able tor re-sign the 31-year-old, they should absolutely pursue Contreras, who would provide similar offensive production to that of Grandal. In 2019, Contreras hit .272/.355/.533 with 24 home runs and 64 RBIs in what was considered a down year. Just imagine the numbers he'd flaunt if locked in for a full campaign. Replacing Grandal should be one of the Brewers' top priorities this offseason, and Contreras absolutely fits that bill.
1. Atlanta Braves
Braves iron man Brian McCann announced his retirement following the club's loss to the Cardinals in the ALDS, leaving Atlanta without a reliable starting catcher for 2020. If that isn't a reason to try and work out a deal with the Cubs for Contreras, who would be more productive than a 35-year-old McCann, we don't know what is. Seriously, how much confidence does Tyler Flowers inspire? Make the move, Atlanta, and thank us later.