Just because they aren’t obvious contenders right now doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of rumors of a Cubs trade in 2023 as the deadline gets closer and closer. Chicago has plenty of candidates to fill at the deadline, as many players on the roster could be useful to contending teams.
At the same time, the Cubs hope to improve quickly and be more competitive in 2024, which is why we’re seeing a lot of rumors of a Cubs trade in 2023, even if it involves the team selling off parts instead of buying new ones. .
The Cubs trade rumors and plans for 2023
So what does the latest Cubs news and rumors say and what are the Cubs’ trade intentions in terms of rebuilding for next season?
There are many ways the Cubs could play this, so it’s not an easy question to answer. However, let’s use some of the latest Cubs trade rumors in 2023 to take a look at the players who could be traded and what the Cubs could try to bring in via deadline deals.
It doesn’t look like the Cubs will sign Marcus Stroman to a contract extension, meaning he will likely be traded this summer. The good news for Chicago is that Stroman is arguably the best starting pitcher there, so the Cubs should be able to get a lot for him.
Any team serious about winning a championship in 2023 should be in contact with the Cubs about Stroman. That could lead to a bidding war that could help the Cubs land two or three big-time prospects.
Chicago deserves credit for giving Cody Bellinger a chance at a one-year contract after his disastrous end to his tenure with the Dodgers. He probably almost earned his $17.5 million salary.
But it also gave the Cubs a nice trade chip to use at the deadline. Bellinger will also be worth something as a loan player. Finally, he is a former MVP with postseason experience who brings strength and defensive flexibility to the table. There aren’t many players like that on the trade market this year.
It wasn’t an ideal season for Michael Fulmer, who failed to record a win in the first half of the season. But after a terrible April and May, he went out of business in June and continued to serve well into early July before the All-Star break.
Historically, Fulmer has been a top-tier replacement, which should be enough for a rival team to give him a shot, allowing the Cubs to get something back via a trade.
The Cubs will certainly have a hard time saying goodbye to Kyle Hendricks. He’s been thinking a lot about the Wrigley Faithful since the team’s World Championship. But if the Cubs don’t pick up his $16 million option for next season, they could also trade him.
Although he only made his season debut at the end of May, he has a good range of the cast and isn’t showing too many signs of age. Of course, that could lead the Cubs to believe Hendricks could be an asset to their rotation in 2024. However, if Chicago receives an offer from a team in need of a regular, they can’t turn down , the Cubs may have no choice but to trade Hendricks.
Yan Gomes is the perfect example of a striker who will be in demand at the end. He’s a veteran who can manage a pitching staff and helped the Nationals win the World Series in 2019. Gomes is also having a solid season offensively, which doesn’t hurt his value, especially given the limited number of pitchers at Platte Handelmarkt.
The question is: do the Cubs want to option a 36-year-old catcher next season? If the answer is no, the Cubs will likely look to trade Gomes at the deadline.
Like Hendricks, Drew Smyly is not someone the Cubs should trade. He’s signed through next season and has a common option in 2025. But the 34-year-old could be worth more to someone else than the Cubs currently.
There aren’t many great left-handed starters on the trade market this summer, which means Smyly could attract some interest. When that happens, the Cubs would be foolish not to listen.
When it comes to the Cubs’ trade deadline goals, the answer is simple: new pitching. If the Cubs are going to compete in 2024, they need to add youngsters who are almost ready for the big leagues and can contribute sooner rather than later.
Aside from Ben Brown and Jordan Wicks, most of Chicago’s top contenders are either position players or more than a year away from the majors. Keep in mind that Stroman, Hendricks, Fulmer and Smyly may not be on the team next season. So there is a clear need to add pitching and that is what Chicago should focus on in the trade. In other words, if a team wants to trade the Cubs, it better have major league arms ready to be traded.
In addition to looking for new pitchers, the Cubs should also be looking for a catcher. Granted, that’s not always easy to find, but the Cubs still have to try. Even if Gomes isn’t traded, he’s not the long-term solution, and neither is Tucker Barnhart. Although rookie Miguel Amaya is only 24 years old, the jury is still out on whether he is an everyday catcher, especially given a number of injuries he has already battled in his career, including Tommy John surgery.
If the Cubs end up making a trade for Stroman or Hendricks, they could try to get a young catcher in return in addition to adding some weapons for the future.