Chicago Cubs could look to the American League East in trade talks

Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: This guy also knows a thing or two about playing defense.

While it would certainly be nice to pry Blake Snell away from the Rays for a bag of balls, it’s unlikely that would happen. I’m all for trying if we can, but I doubt the Rays want to get rid of a guy they control on a super team-friendly contract until 2024.

Another Rays pitcher, Charlie Morton, might be a guy of interest, but Morton is 36 and is making $15 million next year. If the Cubs wanted to spend that kind of money, they probably would have paid Cole Hamels or gone after Madison Bumgarner, who got a measly $17 million AAV in his new contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

And so, we’re left with a guy the Rays would love to keep, if only for his glove. But alas, but alas. Kevin Kiermaier, he of the three Gold Gloves, would make the same kind of defensive impact as Bradley in center field for the Cubs. Like Bradley, however, Kiermaier is only mediocre at best as a hitter. In fact, he’s more anemic than the Red Sox center fielder, with less power and plate discipline.

If the Cubs wanted to shore up defense in centerfield with no thought to offense, though, this would be the guy. Kiermaier is set to cost the Rays $36 million over the next three years (if they don’t pick up the option for the fourth season), which is probably way too much for them. If the Cubs wanted a truly elite center fielder, perhaps they send back some prospects or even their very own center fielder, Albert Almora. as part of the deal.