By: Will Farlow
The Chicago Cubs entered this season with high expectations to try to return to the MLB postseason. The Northsiders have had a great season thus far in 2023. Headed to the trade deadline with not too many needs in my view shows a positive sign. The Cubs were smart amid trade rumors to hold onto soon to be free agents Marcus Stroman and Cody Bellinger. The Cubs made some smart trade deadline trades to help their team continue in the right direction in a winnable NL Central division. Here is a recap of the trades made by the Cubs along with my report card grade.
Trade #1: Chicago Cubs trade LHP DJ Herz and infielder Kevin Made to the Washington Nationals for 3B Jeimer Candelario
The Chicago Cubs made a smart trade to improve their infield depth by trading for their former player. Candelario has a good right handed bat that drives in runs, and goes with good defensive play . The Cubs can utilize the versatility of Candelario moving forward. The Nationals continue a good rebuild by acquiring Herz and Made to help their team in the future.
Trade #2: Chicago Cubs trade OF Nelson Velasquez to the Kansas City Royals for RHP Jose Cuas
The Cubs make a trade from strength to improve their bullpen by acquiring Cuas. The reliever brings another option for David Ross to call on in key game situations. The Royals acquire a talented young outfielder in Velasquez to continue their rebuild in the right direction.
Trade #3: Chicago Cubs trade RHPs Manuel Rodriguez, Adrian Sampson, and future considerations to the Tampa Bay Rays for RHP Josh Roberson
The Cubs trade for a talented pitcher from Tampa Bay for two pitchers in their minor league system. Roberson has good potential that can now be utilized in future games at Wrigley Field. I like this trade as the Cubs followed instinct to get a player they wanted for their organization. The Rays acquire pitchers to help them as they try to make some noise in the upcoming postseason. Tampa also acquires future international draft pool money from Chicago.
The Chicago Cubs get a score of a B+ most importantly for keeping their successful roster intact. Their score is not an A due to their lack of addressing the need for left handed relievers in their bullpen. Velasquez being traded is also risky giving his high potential. There is also the risk of Bellinger and Stroman walking for nothing in free agency. Cubs fans should be very happy with the outcome of the trade deadline as GM Jed Hoyer did a nice job.
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