Chicago Cubs: 3 possible trade candidates heading into the winter

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Adbert Alzolay / Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: 3 trade candidates this winter – 3. Adbert Alzolay

Starting this list with the Adbert Alzolay. The right-hander actually finished the season quite strong coming out of the bullpen. In his last eight appearances, he only gave up three earned runs over the course of 19.1 innings of work. Quite a successful stretch for the 26-year-old hurler.

The thing with Alzolay is, the whole time the Cubs have had him, they are grooming him to be a starter and it just hasn’t worked out so far. With the Iowa Cubs in 2018 and 2019, his ERA hovered in the mid-4.00 range. In fact, he finished 2019 with a 4.80 ERA between Triple-A and Myrtle Beach and was still brought up to the majors where he had a 7.30 ERA over 12 1/3 innings.

Though he showed signs of improvement in 2020 with a 2.95 ERA over six appearances, Alzolay again struggled in 2021 this year with a 4.58 ERA overall. However, the hot flash he had to end the seasons is enough for put his future role with the Cubs under the microscope. Being that he still has two years of team control before hitting arbitration for three years, his recent dominant stretch to end the season out of the bullpen may give him more trade value than you realize.

Every team loves an arm that they think can help find that missing piece, while utilizing his services under a team friendly deal. Think of it this way, if he was dominating every night on the mound, given the fact that he’s still two years away from arbitration, he would be untouchable. The cost effective contract for several years is there. If teams come calling looking for a pitcher they believe they can point in the right direction, Alzolay is a strong trade candidate and could return a decent haul in the process given the remaining years of team control.