Chicago Cubs: Don’t expect any big moves at the trade deadline

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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In recent years, we’ve seen incredibly an active deadline approach from Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs. What will 2018 hold in-store for anxious fans?

Over the past three-plus seasons, the Chicago Cubs have been competing for a World Series and actively seeking to improve their team at the trade deadline. The ultimate goal of winning a championship remains in Chicago, even after a 2016 title run.

But with no glaring holes on this year’s club, I expect the Cubs to largely move forward with the players they have on their current roster.

Years past

During the last two seasons the Cubs unloaded their top prospects to fill holes on their team. In 2016, they sent shortstop Gleyber Torres to the Yankees for fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman. Last year, it was a crosstown deal that sent outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease to the White Sox for left-hander Jose Quintana.

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In both cases, they dealt premier prospects in order to fill out their big league roster.

In his first season as a Yankee, Torres is batting .317 and has already notched two walk-off hits in his belt.

Slugger Eloy Jimenez will probably get called up to the big leagues at some point this season. He is batting .333 with nine home runs in just 37 games at Bouble-A Birmingham.

The Cubs would be best suited to take advantage of a deep major league roster and build the farm back up. Without a pressing need, it would be non-sensible to trade away talent, especially with fewer high quality prospects throughout the system.

No Machado

It created quite the buzz in Chicago when the rumors recirculated last month: Theo Epstein taking a look at Baltimore Orioles shortstop and impending free agent Manny Machado.

Epstein was quick to squash the rumor, claiming there were essentially no trade talks going on at that time. The club appears to be committed to current shortstop Addison Russell - and they should be.

After getting off to a slow start with the bat, Russell has rebounded nicely with a healthy .270 batting average. He also remains one of the best defensive shortstops in the league. Russell ranks sixth in baseball in dWAR, third-best among shortstops.

Russell is also just 24 years old and playing in just his third full Major League season. He’s going to continue to grow and become a better baseball player, and he’s already pretty good.

Machado is also playing in his contract year, so the Cubs would have to play a premium price for just half a season of the star infielder before they would have to either get out their check book or send him on his way.

It doesn’t make sense for the Cubs to be a potential suitor for Machado at this point in time.

Pitching Need?

With Yu Darvish and Quintana getting off to slow starts, some fans have suggested that the Cubs should pick up an arm at the deadline. I don’t anticipate that either.

The Cubs rotation is set with veterans who have all enjoyed success throughout their careers. Darvish and Quintana have very good resumes and the Cubs will stick with them despite their struggles.

Fifth starter Tyler Chatwood has shown bad control, but his overall numbers are more than acceptable for a fifth starter. Mike Montgomery has also shown that he is more than capable to step into the rotation, if need be.

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If anything, I could see the Cubs picking up another reliever to further enhance an already great bullpen.

Cubs fans should embrace the players on the current roster. If the Cubs are going to win a World Series in 2018, these are going to be the guys to do it. Quit looking at the other side of the fence. The grass certainly is not always greener on the other side. Don’t forget that.