Selling the NL Central: Chicago Cubs
The Cubs front office phone lines will be ringing off the hook leading up to the deadline. With the August 1 deadline quickly approaching and the Cubs eight games out of the division, the rest of the league eagerly anticipates them officially throwing in the towel on the 2023 season.
Players with expiring contracts that will not be a high priority to be resigned and could significantly impact a contender’s playoff run; the Cubs have four of these players. The first is 35-year-old catcher Yan Gomes. He is hitting .262/.302/.714 with eight home runs in 187 at-bats and has two years left on his contract with a club option in 2024.
Next, we have Kyle Hendricks, a valuable back-of-rotation starting pitcher. He is 33 with one club option year on his contract. He has a 3.57 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 10 starts this year.
Cody Bellinger’s name is being thrown around in many trade rumors. The former MVP is hitting his prime at 28 years old and will be looking at a big contract for his father’s former team, the New York Yankees. His .305/.362/893 slash line with 12 homers is just what the Yankees could use right now, so look for them to make a move on him.
Marcus Stroman is the most coveted Cub going into the trade deadline. With $25 million on for 2023 and $21 million on the books for Stroman in 2024, the Cubs will be looking to move him this year to save some cash and stock the farm with future talent. Stroman is 10-6 with a 2.88 ERA and 101 strikeouts on the year. He will pull in a nice haul for the Cubs. If done well, a Cubs/Stroman trade this year could be the one that is talked about for the next decade.