Report: Tigers interested in Cubs free agent Willson Contreras

Report: Tigers interested in Cubs free agent Contreras originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Willson Contreras will be a recurring name on the rumor mill as the Hot Stove turns up in the coming weeks, and he's already linked to one team in free agency.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi reported the Tigers have interest in Contreras, the free agent Cubs catcher and three-time All-Star.

As Morosi notes, there is a mutual thread between Contreras and Detroit. New Tigers president Scott Harris spent seven seasons in the Cubs' front office, two of which he was assistant general manager under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer

The Giants named Harris GM after the 2019 season, and the Tigers hired him in September.

Of course, there's also former Cubs shortstop Javy Báez, who signed a six-year deal with the Tigers last offseason.

Contreras became a free agent for the first time in his career Sunday and will receive a qualifying offer, Hoyer said last month. It's a one-year deal worth $19.65 million.

It's expected Contreras will decline the QO and hit the open market. He's the top free agent catcher available this winter.

Contreras said he felt "nostalgic" at the end of the 2022 season as his time with the Cubs was likely coming to an end after 14 years in the organization.

“This is a spot that I wanted to be since I was a kid, and I did everything I could to reach free agency,” Contreras said during the Cubs' final series in Cincinnati. “So it makes me proud.

“At the same time it makes me a little nostalgic to leave my team. But everything happens for a reason, and I’m ready for whatever comes next.”

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