Chicago Cubs: Almora, Schwarber and Happ; trade two, keep one

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The numbers don't lie: Almora has been tremendous as a leadoff man for the Cubs this season. Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images
The numbers don't lie: Almora has been tremendous as a leadoff man for the Cubs this season. Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images /
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Chicago Cubs: An unlikely, but high-value trade piece

Stay with me here. Kyle Hendricks could also be an option in trade talks. There have been no reports or even rumors of moving Hendricks but the value the Cubs could get back for a Hendricks and Almora/Happ/Schwarber combination could be massive.

Pairing Hendricks or Montgomery with two position players could be the big offseason move outside of free agency. Who the Cubs could get back for those three is the biggest question.

Almora is an excellent defensive outfielder and has grown in terms of hitting right-handed pitching. However, he can, at times, be too aggressive and fail to put the ball in play in high-leverage spots. Like Javier Baez, his walk rate (five percent) is very low. The difference is Baez is an extra-base machine. Almora’s slugging percentage in 2018 was only .378.

Happ has middle of the order power and the ability to work the count to help create walks but also strikes out at a high degree (36.1 percent of the time in 2018 to be exact).

Schwarber improved drastically defensively in 2018, gathering 11 outfield assists. Offensively, we saw his walk-rate rise and his strikeout-rate decrease compared to 2017. His WAR increased to 3.2 compared to a 1.6 in 2017. Overall, it was a bounceback season for him. He might hold the highest value of the three.

Next. Harper, Machado signings could complicate financials. dark

It’s going to happen but the question is who and when. I expect the Cubs to be very aggressive to get this chase for multiple championships back on track. Trading Happ with Almora and Montgomery gets my support and would not surprise me in the slightest.

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