Chicago Cubs Rumors: Why the trade could make sense
With all the articles out there about Kris Bryant this offseason, you’ve probably already made up your mind whether the Chicago Cubs should trade him. It’s far from a guarantee that he will be traded, but if he is, would Gavin Lux and Alex Verdugo be a good return?
We’ll start with Lux. The left-handed-hitting shortstop and second baseman is considered to be the Dodgers’ top prospect and one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Between AA and AAA in 2019, he put up a ridiculous .347/.421/.607 AVG/OBP/SLG line. The soon-to-be 22-year-old got a small taste of the majors with the Dodgers, batting .240 with two home runs in 23 games. He appears to be ready to contribute at the major league level in 2020.
Then there’s Verdugo, who was the Dodgers’ top prospect in 2018. The 23-year-old earned a little major league time in both 2017 and 2018 before sticking in 2019. This past year with the big league club, he posted a 3.1 WAR in just 106 games. He batted .294 with 12 home runs while seeing time at all three outfield spots. His defensive WAR was a solid 1.2.
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From a lineup standpoint, this trade would make sense because the Cubs need both a second baseman and an outfielder. Lux could slot into second base in 2020, as could Verdugo in center field. Of course, there would then be a hole at third base. The Cubs could try to then bring in Anthony Rendon, Josh Donaldson, or Mike Moustakas, but it’s not likely the team will want to make the necessary financial commitment to bring in one of those free agents.
Then again, the Cubs would be saving approximately $18.5 million by unloading the arbitration-eligible Bryant, so maybe they would want to go out and make a free agent splash at that point. If not, perhaps Ian Happ would be an internal option, or they could trade for someone like Miguel Andujar of the New York Yankees.