Chicago Cubs: Should the Cubs flip Ben Zobrist near the trade deadline?

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Already, rumors are swirling around the Chicago Cubs and one of their young stars. If deals on the North Side are made, who else could be on the trade block?

It’s almost that time of year, ladies and gentlemen. Following the All-Star game, both contending and rebuilding teams will come together in hopes of improving their club. For the Chicago Cubs, one partner could be the Baltimore Orioles.

Of course, another young talent, by the name of Addison Russell, is the centerpiece of this rumor involving Manny Machado. Machado, in the end, could end up being a rental player like Aroldis Chapman.

However, Chapman did help the Chicago Cubs end their World Series drought but it came at a very expensive price.

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Now, the New York Yankees are enjoying infielder Gleyber Torres. Every time a Torres highlight is posted on social media, I cry a little inside. The future is bright for that young man in the Bronx.

So, talk around town, especially here at Cubbies Crib, is would trading away Russell be worth landing Machado for a brief time?

When it comes to Russell, he’s under control through the 2021 season and has plenty of time to improve his game during that time frame. On the other hand, we know how good Machado is as a big league player.

So a long-term deal would need to happen in order for fans to be happy with the said trade. We’ll have to see if anything comes of this rumor.

The phone will be ringing

Shockingly, it won’t stop with Russell. At one point, outfielder Kyle Schwarber had his name involved with some trade rumors of his own. Thankfully, he’s still with the organization, providing dangerous pop in the batting order.

Who else could receive interest later on this summer? Well, several names come to mind. From Ian Happ, Tommy La Stella, and multiple prospects down on the farm, the Cubs hold a decent amount of trade chips in their possession.

Rather than shoveling promising talent in exchange for what could be an arm to help in the rotation or bullpen, what about a seasoned veteran? Specifically, utility man Ben Zobrist.

Get what you can in return

On December 9th, 2015, Zobrist signed a four-year deal with the Cubs worth $56 million. Zobrist, now 36, helped the Kansas City Royals win a World Series and would do the same with the Cubs the following season.

Forever grateful but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see what teams would be willing to give up for a guy who is nearing the end of his career. Of course, with an additional piece included. I mean, he’s in his third year of a four-year deal, so why not?

The two-time champion has appeared in 33 games this year, hitting .290/.382/.402/.784 with two homers and 12 RBI. Due to wrist and back injuries, Ben’s offensive production took a hit in 2017 where he hit six less homers and 20 RBI compared to his first year with the Cubs.

Next: Chicago Cubs rotation taking shape

Still, he has proven his worth over time and the Cubs’ front office could use that to get what they can for Zobrist. It’s all about having room for these guys next year and the amount of money sitting on the bench.