Chicago Cubs: The impact of a Pittsburgh Pirates fire-sale on the Cubs
What does all this mean for the Cubs?
First and foremost, I don’t think a fire-sale in Pittsburgh will impact the Cubs all that much in the immediate future. If McCutchen becomes a Giant, he would not automatically make them a postseason lock. It would take a lot more than an outfielder on the wrong side of 30 to turn a club that lost 98 games in 2017 around.
Perhaps the biggest impact on the Cubs would come from the strengthening of the Yankees. If you look at the Yankees’ roster, it’s easy to see they are stacked offensively. From Aaron Judge to Stanton to Gary Sanchez and company, the Yankees have a line-up that can produce top to bottom. Throw in a well above average starting rotation, which is what the Yankees would have if they traded for Cole, and New York would be my pick to win the 2018 World Series.
The future impact of prospects
There is one more aspect to these possible trades, the prospects Pittsburgh would get back. Andujar would be a nice depth piece for the Pirates. Pittsburgh currently has 34-year-old David Freese as their starting third baseman. Freese is a free agent after the 2018 season, opening the door for a younger option at that position.
Clint Frazier would replace McCutchen in center, making the Pirates younger at that position. Chance Adams could go into the Pirates’ rotation as early as 2018, giving Pittsburgh additional starting pitching depth.
It is currently not known what the Pirates could get for McCutchen. If they were smart, the Pirates could target relievers and middle infielders from the Giants, further shoring up those two areas.
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Trading Cole and Harrison to the Yankees would, in my opinion, give them the tools needed to win it all. All it would take from the Yankees is parting with some young talent, something they have plenty of.