Something to keep an eye on in the coming days, as the catching market last year was one of the first areas to move in free agency, and it kinda seems like that might happen again this year.
The catching market is one of the lone areas of free agency that’s moving amid general stagnation, sources tell ESPN, and one name generating early interest is Stephen Vogt, who’s coming off a season in which he hit .263/.319/.490 in 99 games for the Giants.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 20, 2019
Robinson Chirinos' market is already active this winter. In addition to the Mets (1st reported by @KenDavidoff), the Astros, Reds and Rangers are among teams that have shown interest in the 35-year-old catcher, per sources. Chirinos has hit 52 HR in 315 G since the start of 2017.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) November 20, 2019
An active catching market is very notable because of the obvious implications for the Cubs. Not only are they reportedly considering trading Willson Contreras, but if they do, then the Cubs would also be in the market for (presumably) a steady, veteran catcher to pair with Victor Caratini.
So, then, if the catching market is about to start moving quickly, the pressure might be on the Cubs to thoroughly explore the trade market for Contreras before too many other moves are made – not only because they want the biggest market for Contreras, but also because they would want to have the ability to be active in the catching market, themselves.
That said, a quick-moving catcher market could actually aid in the Cubs’ efforts to maximize a trade for Contreras – if they are seriously considering it – because various suitors may miss out on other targets. In other words, the Cubs need to be aggressive in conversations, but they don’t necessarily need to be overly aggressive in pulling the trigger.
That is to say: watch the catching market closely.