Cubs Rumors: 3 catchers who could replace Willson Contreras

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Monday night brought plenty of excitement, ranging from the possibility of the Cubs not landing one, but two of the remaining three free agent shortstops to Tom Ricketts giving the front office the 'green light' to spend what's necessary to get the team back on track in 2023.

But the needs of this team go far beyond adding some star power back into the mix. Chicago will need to add an everyday center fielder, shore up the pitching staff - especially the starting rotation - and determine who will succeed Willson Contreras behind the plate, assuming he doesn't return in free agency this winter.

You might have missed the chatter on the backstops amidst all the chaos of the Winter Meetings - but here are three guys the Cubs have been connected to here early on in the offseason.

Cubs Rumors: 3 catchers to replace Willson Contreras - #3: Sean Murphy

Initially, it seemed like, of all teams, the Atlanta Braves were the front-runners for Oakland Athletics backstop Sean Murphy in trade discussions. But that quickly proved not to be the case and multiple other teams have since been connected to the former Gold Glove catcher.

On Monday, the Cubs were mentioned as a potential fit for the first time which, at least on paper, makes sense. They have a major need behind the dish heading into 2023 and Murphy would certainly fit the bill.

Murphy won't become a free agent until 2026 - and given he's one of the better all-around catchers in the game, he's going to be a hot commodity on the trade market. Atlanta, St. Louis, Houston, Chicago (both the Sox and the Cubs), Cleveland, Minnesota, Boston and Tampa Bay have all been linked to the 28-year-old catcher to this point.

Given the free agent options out there, I'm not so sure a trade is the answer as Chicago looks to extend the depth chart behind the plate. There's a need, to be sure, but I'd rather hold those trade chips in the organization to go after a Pablo Lopez and hand catching duties to a proven veteran who's available in on the open market.