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Trade Talk: The Cubs Front Office Is Looking To Make Improvements

The Chicago Cubs are reportedly in trade talks with at least two teams, looking for much-needed help at the plate and in the field. The Cubs are idle today, but the front office doesn’t appear to taking the day off.

Cubs Front Office Looking to Make Improvements

Cubs and Rockies are in Discussions

There are reports that the Cubs are in talks with the Colorado Rockies for veteran catcher Elias Díaz. The 33-year-old is having the best year of his career, hitting .305/.353/.442 to this point in the season. He’s posted a 1.4 WAR and is on pace to record his highest defensive runs saved since 2021.

Adding Díaz would certainly fill a hole offensively and defensively for the Cubs in the near term. The team’s forecast remains high on its young backstop Miguel Amaya who has shown signs of improvement of late. But his progress has been slow and the Cubs are still in the playoff picture. Díaz would bring defensive stability and a key bat to the lineup for a team that is trying to find its way back to the postseason.

Díaz is in the final season of a three-year, $14.5 million contract with Colorado, which could influence the Rockies’ decision of whether to move him. And the Cubs will have to be wary of not giving away too much in the deal for the veteran.

Cubs in Contact with Blue Jays

The Cubs have also reportedly been in discussion with the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Danny Jansen. A native of Elmhurst, Illinois, who grew up in Wisconsin, Jansen has seen limited playing time behind the plate this season. But the 29-year-old has been steady behind the plate while posting a .815 OPS in 125 plate appearances with five home runs and 15 RBI. These numbers are better than those of Amaya, who has struggled in key areas offensively and defensively this year.

The teams have also discussed privately a trade for All-Star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Guerrero, 25, is a three-time All-Star, and a former Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Award winner. His acquisition would give the Cubs a second superstar along with center fielder Cody Bellinger. An A+ fielder, Guerrero is batting .292/.383/.424 with seven homers and 30 RBI so far this season. But while news like this may make the hair stand up on the arms of Cubs fans, the Blue Jays won’t be looking to make a deal for either player anytime soon.

A Team in “Buy” Mode is a Team in “Go” Mode

Whatever happens in the talks between the Cubs and Rockies, it appears Cubs management is weighing its options. President of Baseball Operations, Jed Hoyer, seems to be keeping things fluid, assessing the team’s chances in 2024 while keeping an eye on the future. If the Cubs core could get healthy for an extended period, they could make a run despite the weaknesses in the lineup. But they’re likely going to need help.

While the cost to bring Díaz in may be high, the team’s prospects at catcher aren’t particularly good at the moment. And with Cubs veteran catcher Yan Gomes struggling a bit this year, a player like Díaz might make a better mentor to Amaya while giving the team a much-needed jolt.

Both Jansen and Guerrero would make great additions to the Cubs offensively and defensively. But as long as the Jays find themselves in the postseason hunt they won’t be likely to move either of them, especially Guerrero.

Still Work to Be Done

Any one of these players would improve the Cubs going forward. It might also signal to a player like Cody Bellinger that the team is serious about building a winner for the future. Bellinger is picking it up after spending time on the IL with a fractured rib. But the All-Star center fielder isn’t up to last season’s numbers. If he can’t get the offer he’s looking for during the offseason, he might just decide to stick it out in Chicago for another season. Especially if he sees a player like Guerrero Jr.’s name on a locker.

Then there’s the issue of the Cubs’ ailing bullpen, which definitely needs a few healthy arms. Hector Neris is fitting into the role of closer pretty well. The 34-year-old has worked in the role effectively with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros, and has converted nine of the 11 chances he’s had so far this season for the Cubs. Likewise, Tyson Miller and Mark Leiter Jr. have filled in the middle innings. With the return of Jordan Wicks, both he and Ben Brown could see multi-inning work as well. But the Cubs still lack the kind of late-inning relief they need to compete.

While the news that the Cubs front office is looking to improve, there is still work to be done. Cub fans can take heart that they appear to be willing to take the challenge.


Photo Credit: © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports


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