Cubs Rumors: With the trade deadline approaching, the Chicago Cubs could use a consistent, professional bat to enhance their lineup
The All-Star break has come and gone, leaving baseball fans anxiously awaiting the trade deadline. While the time between the ending of the break and the deadline seems slow, the Chicago Cubs have been involved in trade talks, keeping fans on their toes awaiting trade news.
On Monday night, the Cubs traded left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for catcher Martin Maldonado. As catcher Willson Contreras landed on the IL once again, trading for Maldonado gave the Cubs’ insurance they needed to avoid depending on Contreras.
Though the veteran catcher’s strong arm will benefit the team defensively, the Cubs’ should be looking towards the Royals to deal for someone else. And that someone is All-Star second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield.
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According to CBS Chicago and 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine, the Cubs are in the market for a veteran with offensive numbers good enough to become the leadoff man for this contending team. With this being said, Levine believes that Whit Merrifield would be an ideal fit for this Cubs lineup.
It comes as no surprise that the Cubs are also looking for a second baseman. Second baseman and outfielder, Ben Zobrist has been out on the restricted list going through a divorce leaving a void to be filled by a competent second baseman and/or outfielder.
Outfielder Jason Heyward, hitting an overall .278/.361/.474 has massively struggled at the plate against lefties this season as he is hitting .302/.389/.525 against righties as compared to .188/.246/.281 against lefties. Ideally, with Merrifield in the mix, the Cubs could sit Heyward out against lefties avoiding his weakness that has been taking a toll on the team.
There is no reason why any contending team wouldn’t want to get their chance at Merrifield. The 30-year old is hitting .309/.359/.496 and going for a second consecutive season leading in hits across the league.
However, the Royals are hesitant to move Merrifield without acquiring three MLB ready players for him. The Cubs’ don’t have the most robust farm system, nor do they have an abundance of players who are big-league ready.
They have players such as second baseman and outfielder, Ian Happ and second basemen Addison Russell. All who happen to be big-league ready. But probably not the best fit for the Kansas City ball club.
Merrifield is locked up on an extraordinarily affordable contract until 2022, with a club option for 2023. Kansas City isn’t looking to give him away without a sufficient return suiting their needs. Only time will tell if trading for Merrifield is as realistic as it is ideal for the Cubbies.