The source expects Contreras to sign a one-year, incentive-laden contract with either the Cubs or the St. Louis Cardinals. The Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, who traded for Contreras last season, also are interested.
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine first reported the Cubs had interest in Contreras last month, and that the team had talked to Contreras' agent Jaime Torres.
With Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly likely to miss the first couple weeks of the season rehabbing from shoulder surgery, and recently acquired Carlos Silva pitching poorly in the Venezuelan Winter League, Contreras could be a good fit as a fourth or fifth starter in April, before transitioning to a Cubs bullpen stocked with young arms.
Contreras has reportedly been throwing in Florida.
Contreras was 5-13 with a 5.42 ERA last year for the White Sox before getting traded to the Rockies. Contreras, listed at 38, was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in seven games, including two starts. He pitched twice in the playoffs, giving up one run in two innings, while earning a hold.