The Chicago Cubs are gearing up for drastic changes, perhaps up to and including trades of 2016 National League MVP Kris Bryant or two-time All-Star Willson Contreras.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com, Bryant is among a trio of superstars at the center of Major League Baseball's offseason trade market:
At least one player among the Mookie Betts/Francisco Lindor/Kris Bryant group will be traded this offseason, in the opinion of multiple @MLB team execs I’ve checked with over the last 24 hours. @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 11, 2019
For his part, Contreras is a less obvious trade candidate who nonetheless has the attention of other teams in search of catching help, per ESPN's Jeff Passan:
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. 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.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 8, 2019
It's noteworthy that neither rumor sprang from Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. Yet while speaking with Chicago reporters at this week's general managers meetings in Arizona, he was candid about being in charge of an untenable situation.
Courtesy of Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago, here's a key quote:
"In an ideal world, you can enhance your major-league team and put a really compelling product out there — a team that has a legitimate chance to win the World Series and also take significant steps toward ensuring your future and make sure there's not that big of a dropoff after 2021. There's probably a series of moves that we could pull off that could bring that about, but it won't be easy and you normally have to make sacrifices one way or the other and operate in a world where there are real tradeoffs.