We are still a month and a half from Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, but there are already rumblings about whether or not the Chicago Cubs will be buyers or sellers come Aug. 1.
The uncertainty comes as the Cubs sit at 29-37, five and a half games out of first in the National League Central and six games back of the third wild card spot in the NL.
The team is 4-6 in their last 10 games, and they do have a minus-5 run differential, which is somehow one of the better marks in the National League this season.
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In addition, they have shown a willingness to sign in-season contract extensions, meaning that decisions on several key players could potentially be a bit more complicated than previously thought.
That being said, here’s the latest rumblings on the Cubs.
Marcus Stroman….a Giant?
Marcus Stroman made waves recently when he revealed the Cubs had yet to engage him on contract extension talks, despite expressing a willingness to re-sign with the club.
The topic has gained steam in recent weeks as Stroman has continued to pitch well, and as the expectation grows that he could opt out of the third year of his contract with the Cubs for a larger pay day during the offseason.
While sticking with the Cubs cannot, and should not, be ruled out, The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly (subscription required) recently penned a piece arguing that Stroman could be a good fit for the San Francisco Giants.
Baggarly laid out a case both around the team’s current need, as they only have three regular starters in their rotation, and Stroman’s past comments about the Giants after he picked the Cubs in free agency prior to the 2022 season.
He did highlight some significant hurdles, specifically around Stroman’s salary and contract status.
Cody Bellinger a Logical Fit for the Champs?
In a recent story, MLB Trade Rumors laid out the case for the Houston Astros to potentially be in the market for Cody Bellinger as the deadline approaches, and the team’s GM Dana Brown also said that the club could look for a left-handed bat in the coming weeks, according to Sports Illustrated.
The case for Bellinger to join the Astros circles around the team’s uncertainty about the health of Yordan Alvarez, as well as the continued struggles of first baseman José Abreu.
Bellinger is currently on a rehab assignment in Iowa, but has had a strong season with the Cubs, with a .271 batting average, seven home runs and 20 RBI’s.
He could potentially see time at first base upon his return, adding another interesting piece to the puzzle if the Astros were to acquire him at the deadline.