I’ve said many times that it’s impossible to come up with trade ideas because even if you try to compare previous deals and try to match what a team is supposed to be looking for, then you get the Sean Murphy trade of Oakland A with the Atlanta Braves. and everyone is dumbfounded. So what the heck, let’s go crazy and try to work out a trade with the Cubs for Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo López.
You’re probably wondering why the Cubs would even want to trade for another pitcher, given that they have a lot of depth in that area, but you can’t just think of 2023. After next season, Marcus Stroman has the opportunity to withdraw from his deal and return to free agency, while Kyle Hendricks will most likely have his option denied by the team. Recently signed Drew Smyly also has an opt-out option in his contract after the 2023 season.
So yeah, the Cubs may have a strong squad now, but that can improve and trading for López will also give them another starter under team control through 2024.
Last week, a group of MLB writers and reporters came up with five big trades that included some of the trading bloc’s most prevalent players. This one in particular was intriguing as the price seems very affordable for the Cubs. Of course, that’s just speculation on their part, but if it’s anything like that, do it ASAP, Jed!
The Rangers get: HRP Pablo Lopez
Marlins get: RHP Dane Dunning, OF Anthony Gutierrez (Rangers No.12 prospect)
Rangers caused a stir with the addition of Jacob deGrom this offseason, a year after the signings of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. They also added Andrew Heaney and Jake Odorizzi, but competing in the AL West and beyond will take all the pitching Texas can get. López would be another reliable arm behind deGrom, and he’s under the team’s control until 2024, so it’s not a move that builds up immediate pressure. As for the Marlins, they would get a first-rounder in 2016 in Dunning – and he’s been under contract for two years when López is. He was drafted by the Nationals, traded to the White Sox as part of the Adam Eaton deal later in 16, then traded to the Rangers in 20 for Lance Lynn. Dunning hasn’t reached his full potential again, but the Marlins’ record with young pitchers speaks for itself lately. Gutierrez provides another outfield option down the line.
Who says no? Probably the Marlins, but maybe just for now. López’s name looks likely to come up in the trade rumor mill frequently in the future, with the biggest free agent pitchers all signed. Miami may look to wait out the market until the trade deadline or next winter, but if the Rangers are in competition, the landing spot can certainly present itself.
We now know the Texas Rangers have signed right-handed starter Nathan Eovaldi, so they’re most likely on López, but let’s try to match a few Cubs players to that trade proposition.
Cubs get: Pablo López
Marlins get: Keegan Thompson, Alexander Canary
Obviously, the big deal here is that Alexander Canario suffered a terrible injury while playing in the Dominican Winter League at the end of October. He broke his ankle and dislocated his shoulder, which required two surgeries this offseason. The 22-year-old outfielder won’t be ready for the start of the 2023 season after hitting 37 home runs and stealing 23 underage bases in 2022. So yes, the Marlins would hang up the hangup right away.
Another factor in potential trade talks is that the Marlins are apparently not asking for any prospects. They want MLB talent for any pitch they trade.
Well, who exactly could that be on the Cubs going to the Marlins? And if that’s the asking price, would the Cubs even want to go in that direction?
Don’t get me wrong, I would love López with the Cubs. The 26-year-old has been pretty good since the start of 2020, with a 3.52 ERA in 340 innings. He’s struck out just over nine batters over nine innings and has a 47%-plus rushed rate in his last 63 starts. In 2022, López started 32 games, had a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 180 innings. And he is under the control of the team with two more years of refereeing.
So yeah, I want López, but maybe the Cubs should wait a bit until the Marlins drop the asking price. I mean, Keegan Thompson and Christopher Morel? Add Nick Madrigal? Now I do the thing where you keep adding players thinking it improves a business proposition.
If the Marlins are really going for it right now and don’t want prospects, then the Cubs are probably not a good game. But if the Marlins change direction, then yes, maybe you can get a deal that includes an outfielder like Owen Caissie, because at this point the Cubs can’t afford to trade the impact sticks of their alignment.
But remember, my original thought of the Cubs offering something to the Marlins was based on this proposal from MLB.com. Don’t yell at me too much.
Or maybe the Cubs can pivot in a different direction with the Marlins and target left-handed starter Trevor Rogers instead. The 25-year-old has been fantastic in 2021, posting a 2.64 ERA in 25 starts, but then struggled in 2022, posting a 5.47 ERA in 23 starts.