Chicago Cubs: Five potential trades to make with AL Central clubs

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Chicago Cubs: You know you want these two up the middle

The Cubs need a second baseman. The Indians have an elite shortstop and are shedding payroll. Granted the Cubs haven’t done anything to make anyone with half a brain think that they’re going to add payroll, but if you’re going to do it, why not for Francisco Lindor?

Put Javier Baez at second, Francisco Lindor at shortstop and let the lineup rock out with Lindor at the top. While Lindor might not be quite in the same stratosphere as Mookie Betts, he checks off the same boxes for the Cubs: fills a position of need, can be inserted as leadoff hitter, means the team is going for it. Not only does Lindor check many of the same boxes as a blockbuster Betts deal would, he comes with two years of team control vs. just one for Betts.

Any deal for Betts would be sure to include the guy who might otherwise be playing second base in 2020 for the Cub s- Nico Hoerner. After him, you’re going to be giving up Ian Happ, who might just blossom into a sensational player in the AL where teams can use him at any number of different places and DH him to get him at-bats every day. After that, the Cubs would be forking over one more prospect – probably Miguel Amaya or Brailyn Marquez.

Seems a bit steep, of course, but this isn’t Jose Quintana we’re trading for here. Lindor is an MVP-type player when healthy and the double play combination of him and Baez up the middle is too good to pass up. While the price is high, the reward could be just as high when inserting Lindor into that top spot and teaming him with El Mago on the infield.