The Chicago Cubs are tied for the NL Central lead, but that doesn’t mean they can remain content until the MLB Trade Deadline.
As great as the Cubs core group of Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras have been, the rest of the team still has holes. In similar fashion to 2016, if this group wants to win a World Series, Jed Hoyer is going to have to swing for the fences.
Unfortunately for Cubs fans, he might not be inclined to do so due to limitations placed upon him by ownership. Before the season, it almost felt like a certainty that the Cubs would trade one of Bryant, Baez or Rizzo. Now? That equation isn’t as simple.
MLB trade rumors: Who should the Cubs trade for at the deadline?
1. Miami Marlins outfielder Starling Marte
The Cubs might’ve gotten a preview of what’s to come when they faced Marte and the Phins this week. Marte is having an elite season and can still provide some speed on the basepaths. While he’s very strikeout-prone, he’s seen the ball well so far.
Through 35 games, Marte has five home runs and 16 RBIs. Should those numbers translate to an entire season of work, Marte ought to be hitting near the top of Chicago’s lineup by the time the playoffs come around.
Marte is most comfortable in center or right field, but he can play either of the corner outfield spots with ease. That sort of positional flexibility makes him worth buying fairly high on, assuming the Marlins don’t want a king’s ransom.
The 32-year-old is on the final year of his contract, which makes him expendable for Miami and cheaper for the Cubs long-term.