Chicago Cubs. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Cubs sit in a unique position where they’ve spent big on the roster but still aren’t ready to contend. Trading these prospects could help that.
There were promises leading up to the offseason from Jed Hoyer and the rest of the Chicago Cubs front office that the club would be aggressive this offseason in building up the roster. While there have been whiffs, the organization has landed some big fish, most notably inking shortstop Dansby Swanson to a massive deal, but also signing the likes of Cody Bellinger and Jameson Taillon.
Having said that, the Cubs roster remains in an interesting position. They should be better than they were in the 2022 season but, at the same time, they don’t appear ready to fully compete. Yet, they have spent quite a bit of money over the past two offseasons and could be aggressive in trying to complete this quick rebuild by making a trade.
With names such as Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, Sandy Alcantara, Max Fried, Brian Reynolds and many others potentially on the market, there are options the Cubs could pursue. And these prospects could be prime trade bait for Chicago to make a deal with for a top talent on that market.
Chicago Cubs: 3 prospects they can trade for top talent right now
SS ROOKIE LEAGUE
Cubs are high on Cristian Hernandez but his path is blocked by Dansby Swanson
Over the past few years, the organization has acquired a solid number of high-end international prospects and among them is shortstop Cristian Hernandez, who has spent the past two years in the rookie leagues as he just turned 19 years old on Dec. 13.
The Dominican prospect has performed well, slashing .261/.320/.357 last year in 44 games with eight extra-base hits and 21 runs scored. He’s also stolen 27 bases in the rookie leagues, including the Dominican Summer League, since signing with the club in January 2021.
Hernandez projects as a strong player with a ton of upside as both a hitter and weapon on the basepaths. That’s something that the Cubs would certainly like to see. But at the same time, with the franchise landing Swanson this offseason and signing him to a long-term contract, that does limit the relatively immediate path for the player ranked as the No. 6 prospect coming for the 2022 season.
That could make him somewhat expendable moving forward and, with the demand we saw for shortstops in the free agency market this offseason, that should make him also valuable in any trade that the Cubs try to pull off.