Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Contreras will be available this winter, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan, who reports the Cubs will get creative this winter and could trade the 27-year-old All-Star as they begin to retool under new manager David Ross.
The Contreras trade rumor comes a month after Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein wouldn't rule out dealing one of the catcher's teammates in Kris Bryant or Javier Baez with the organization "at a transition point."
Since winning the World Series in 2016, the Cubs haven't been able to advance past the National League Championship Series and they missed the playoffs last season.
Additionally, Joe Maddon recently departed as the team's manager, its payroll is nearing $200 million, and the farm system is bare.
Dealing Contreras, who posted a .888 OPS with 24 home runs in 105 games last season and isn't eligible for free agency until 2023, could net the Cubs a large stockpile of prospects and possibly prevent them from dealing one of Bryant or Baez.
Since 2017, Contreras has been one of MLB's top offensive catchers, ranking fourth in homers (55), fifth in RBIs (192), and tied for second in wRC+ (115), according to FanGraphs.
Contreras is also eligible for arbitration for the first time in 2020 and is projected to only make $4.5 million.