The Chicago Cubs
Current Record: 30-29, 2nd in NL Central, five games back of Wild Card.
The Chicago Cubs are nowhere near as good as their record setting pace of 2016. There has been a whole lot of inconsistency in both the pitching, and their offense. So what could they be looking for? Potentially another ace to get them over the hump. The pitching staff just has not been good this year, as only one starter has an ERA under four. Johnny Cueto or Matt Moore might be intriguing options for them. While they’re having bad seasons, they are still quite valuable. The Cubs may be willing to part with a couple prospects for someone like those two.
In terms of position players, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with the current Addison Russell situation. If a suspension is in the woodworks, or this whole thing turns out to be something big, someone like Eduardo Nunez might be enticing to them as well.
It’s pretty clear the Cubs might need another piece this year to push them over the edge as the Brewers and Reds have helped keep the division competitive this season. And with the strength of teams like the Rockies, Nationals, Dodgers, and Diamond-Backs, the Cubs may want to stock up.
The question is what all are they willing to give up. Last year they gave up Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman, and might just be regretting it at the moment, especially when the Yankees signed Aroldis back and made off with the best selling period I think anyone has ever pulled.
They do have a few intriguing outfield prospects, a huge area of need for the Giants. The Giants currently have four outfield prospects in their top ten, but none are graded higher than a 50. Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis look to be some of the best prospect fits.
If the Giants could get a really good haul from somewhere else on Joe Panik, it might make sense to move Christian Arroyo to second, and someone like Candelario could be groomed as the future third-baseman. He’s a more traditional power hitting corner infielder, maybe not a home-run power, but gap-to-gap power (27 XBH in 48 games in 2017, seven are homers). Both are in AAA and performing at a high level, and could be considered MLB ready by July.
I think the Cubs could be an intriguing match for a blockbuster trade, but that would be contingent on them willing to surrender prospects. If they are, they’re a great match for the Giants.