CHICAGO (CBS) — Cubs and White Sox pitchers and catchers report to Arizona on Wednesday for Spring Training.

The Cubs’ first Cactus League game is March 1. But a lot can happen between now — and the start of the regular season.

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Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer has some long-term decisions to make. The Cubs have been trimming payroll most of the offseason.

Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras have heard their names bounce around in trade rumors for the last two years.

It’s a tricky line to walk with two key players from the 2016 World Series Champion team.

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“The most important thing is being honest, you know, and telling them what those conversations are like and where things stand,” Hoyer sad. “So I think – we talk about this all the time – we never have any, you know, untouchables, I don’t think, in this game, and then I think that when you give assurances – you can kind of tell them the status of conversations and try to be transparent about that, but I think giving them complete assurances is impossible at any given time, just given the fact that a phone call can always come in.”

Bryant and Contreras are in the final year of their contracts. Both have struggled at times since winning the World Series.

Their trade values likely aren’t as high as they used to be. But the Cubs will be weighing the possibility of a future with and without some very big names on the North Side.

“I hope that we can go out, and these guys – you know, we have a bunch of guys in the last years, and I hope they play great, and I hope that we’re leading the division or right there in the race, and then we’re looking to add a new line. That’s the best-case scenario. You want to declare yourself and know if you fall in one camp or the other, and obviously, you know, that puts a middle ground that makes it hard, but like I said, that’s my job to make that decision,” Hoyer said.

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And of course, with the weather in Chicago lately, baseball and green grass sounds pretty nice right now.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff