Chicago Cubs: Chase Strumpf – key piece or future trade chip?

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Chase Strumpf has been a guy who, as an impressive prospect in the Chicago Cubs organization, has seemingly found himself in trade rumors at different points. I’m a big fan of Strumpf and do not believe it wise for the Cubs to ship him away, however with the most recent international signings, it may be time to revisit that possibility.

Strumpf has made waves in the organization, moving up the ladder from Rookie-level ball to Double-A in two short seasons. In 2021, the 23-year-old began at High-A, where he spent 16 games before his promotion to Tennessee. He slashed .309/.418/.382 in his 67 plate appearances at High-A and followed it up with a still above-average performance for the Smokies.

Chicago Cubs: Looking ahead to the future with Chase Strumpf

Strumpf has posted a 100 or better wRC+ at every level except for Class-A. In addition, his strikeout rate has stayed consistent at around 25 percent in each of his professional seasons, as well as walk rates at ten percent or higher at each level other than Class-A.

One of the better areas of Strumpf’s game, too, has been his ability to hit to all parts of the field. He also displayed a new power level in smacking seven home runs for the Smokies. Strumpf profiles as a future big leaguer; that much is known. The level of big leaguer is still to be determined, but there is a lot to be impressed by.

The new international signings are far from reaching the big league level, so no immediate signings will threaten Strumpf’s position. However, the depth may provide some clarity. Most recent second-round draft pick James Triantos, who profiles as a 3B/SS, had himself one heck of a professional debut season in 2021, hitting .327 in 25 games in the Arizona Complex League.

He is just 18 years old and still has plenty of time to grow into his frame. Nevertheless, Triantos feels like the future at the hot corner for the Cubs, which may present the opportunity for the club to package Strumpf in a deal for a young established major league talent, despite playing different positions.

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It may be a far-reaching take to consider Strumpf as a “blue chip” trade piece. However, it may give the Cubs the ability to move to help them get back to a competitive state quicker. The likelihood a deal is made is small, but there is an angle for the possibility, and if it can improve the club, then the Cubs will need to do what is best for their future even if that future does not contain Strumpf.