Chicago Cubs: You don’t think they’d send this guy our way, do you?
Ok, so the Cubs aren’t prying the $36 million man away from the Yankees now that they have him. They also can’t really use Clint Frazier (who the Yankees don’t seem to need or want at times) and they shouldn’t be that interested in Aaron Hicks, because he just underwent Tommy John surgery. Also, because of the fact that the Yankees are in win-now-mode, it’s tough to match up for a trade.
There might be some interest in a swap for mediocre middle-of-the-rotation southpaws in a J.A. Happ for Jose Quintana deal, but the Yankees would likely have to throw in some money as part of that deal, as Happ makes more than Quintana, and the Cubs lefty is still likely better and younger. The problem is anyone of consequence is going to be someone the Yankees need or want to keep just in case.
So, in essence, the Cubs should look for redundancy in a trade with the Yankees. Who is a player that the Yankees just don’t need because a better player is blocking them? Since we can’t have Gleyber Torres or DJ LeMahieu, could we be looking for a utility or defensive back-up like Thairo Estrada? Could the Yankees look to send 2018 AL Rookie of the Year Runner-up Miguel Andujar packing with Gio Urshela essentially usurping his spot?
If the Cubs deal former MVP Kris Bryant, they’ll need a permanent fixture at third base. If the front office feels like Andujar has healed from his shoulder surgery enough to play third going forward, this could be the deal to make. Not saying I want the Cubs to deal Bryant, but with all the smoke about Bryant lately, it’s tough to believe there’ll be no fire. Andujar could represent an offensive-minded replacement to the uber-talented Bryant going forward and would certainly be a lot cheaper.
With the uncertainty of his injury and his redundancy on the Yankees roster, it’s possible the Cubs could trade for Andujar without breaking the bank or trading away the farm. A guy like Aramis Ademan or Zack Short could begin this deal as well, giving the Yankees a possible shortstop down the road in a starting or utility role. If the Cubs do lose Bryant and Andujar is 100% ready to go, it’s also possible an MLB-ready player like Tony Kemp or even Ian Happ might be the guy to go. It’s hard to believe the Yankees wouldn’t be interested in Ian Happ with his ability to hit bombs and move around the diamond on defense.
With five trades down and the AL East in the books, be on the lookout for the other five parts of the potential trade partner series, with the AL Central up next.