Cubs could have Patrick Wisdom on trade block this deadline
Trade season is a dreaded time of year for a team like the Chicago Cubs, but it also gives way to some interesting, or scary, conversations depending on your perspective. The Cubs have some obvious trade candidates which everyone’s talked about non-stop (Willson Contreras, David Robertson), but what about somebody whom the answer isn’t as clear cut on?
Patrick Wisdom is in a strange place regarding the deadline. There’s little to nothing on the idea of him getting traded, but there’s some sense to it when looking at the big picture. Wisdom has been a steady offensive force for the Cubs since his arrival. Although he still lacks the batting average and on-base you’d like from a more well-rounded player, he owns a very respectable 117 wRC+. He’s also managed to cut down that dreadful 40.8 percent strikeout rate to a still bad but much more manageable 34.2.
Among all third basemen, he’s just outside the top 10 offensively and is tied for second in home runs. He also comes with some added utility, playing all three outfield positions and first base this year at various points. Add in the fact that he’s not a free agent until 2027 and it’s quite the package.
On the one hand, there’s an argument to keep Wisdom due to the control, the low cost, and the value he brings. He’s been a bright spot on the Cubs (1.2 fWAR) and brings some much-needed pop. Third base is also a woefully weak position to address next year in free agency barring some position changes. And yet, considering his age and the extra thump he can add to another team’s lineup, a deal’s worth exploring to send him to greener pastures.
Cubs need to at least shop Wisdom during the trade deadline
The chance that Wisdom leaves the Cubs doesn’t feel particularly high, but there’s a possibility that a team will be willing to go after him given everything he offers. Unlike an Ian Happ trade, losing Wisdom wouldn’t significantly set the Cubs back. There are ways to regain his production and then some in the offseason. Landing a Carlos Correa or shortstop of your choosing will go a long way towards doing that. If Nelson Velazquez continues blossoming at the major league level, that alone would recover some of the power lost.
Just a couple of months away from 31, there are also no guarantees Wisdom will keep this level of production as he gets older, making this perhaps the best opportunity to get a good package for him. At first glance, his solid defense, power, and utility feel like a match for the Tampa Bay Rays. They rank 10th in the AL in power and Wisdom would add more raw power than their starting third baseman Yandy Diaz or their current right fielder Brett Philips.
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The Cubs have an opportunity to get some real value for a guy who may not have a huge impact on the long-term outlook of the team. There are certain to be teams interested in his services and if a good enough deal comes around, they can take it without much worry about what they’re losing for 2023 and beyond.