The latest Cubs rumors on the morning of the trade deadline

((Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
((Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Because of the yet-to-be-concluded Juan Soto sweepstakes, it’s been a relatively quiet few days leading up to the MLB trade deadline. With the Cardinals, Padres and Dodgers all still in on the Washington Nationals superstar, the power balance in the National League is very much undecided here on the morning of Aug. 2.

The Cubs, of course, are impacted by all of this because they offer two position players who appear to be fallback options for some of those teams should they miss out on Soto. The Dodgers have been connected to Happ as recently as Monday night and San Diego and Chicago have been casually talking for more than a year, attempting to work out various trades.

So where do we stand with just hours until this year’s trade deadline? Let’s take a quick look.

Cubs and Mets seem to be playing a high-stakes game of chicken

Here’s the long and short of it. Willson Contreras makes a literal endless amount of sense for the New York Mets, a team that has gotten virtually zero production from behind the plate this year. They could also stand to shore up the bullpen, especially with someone who has excelled against lefties this year like, oh, I don’t know, David Robertson?

"The Mets have spoken to the Cubs about a deal that would send Contreras and David Robertson to Queens, according to sources. But the Mets remain hesitant to surrender higher-level prospects (such as Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio) for rentals. Contreras and Robertson are free agents after the season."

So how come nothing has happened? Simple. Jed Hoyer has stuck to his reasonably high asking price and, to this point, the Mets have balked. The question heading into Tuesday becomes ‘who blinks first’ – and if you’re New York, a club with clear World Series aspirations and an owner who is putting winning above all else – it’s hard to imagine them not shoring up such a glaring weakness.

Ian Happ’s market could explode when/if Juan Soto finally gets traded

If the Nationals wind up trading Soto on Tuesday, you can expect a fast and furious bidding war for Happ. Both the Dodgers and Padres, both of whom are in on the 23-year-old phenom, have at least checked in with the Cubs on their All-Star outfielder – and they’re not alone, either.

The White Sox and Blue Jays have also been connected to Happ in recent weeks, and you could see a team like Milwaukee having interest, as well, although they’ve also been linked to Yankees slugger Joey Gallo in recent days. Given he’s not a pure rental, I have more of a tough time believing the Cubs would trade Happ within the division but, hey, stranger things have happened.

Cubs still have pitchers they could choose to trade before the deadline

Robertson and Mychal Givens are the two likeliest Chicago relievers to be dealt on Tuesday – given they’re both on expiring contracts. After dropping some jaws by trading breakout rookie Scott Effross to the Bronx on Monday, it’ll be interesting to see if Hoyer has any more surprises in store for us in the hours leading up to the deadline.

Cubs trade rookie reliever Scott Effross to the Yankees. dark. Next

Don’t be surprised if we see a Drew Smyly trade, either. The Astros flipped Jake Odorizzi to Atlanta on Monday – and the two are fairly comparable. There’s always the possibility guys like Patrick Wisdom or Rafael Ortega are on the move, as well, although we’ve heard nothing concrete on that front as of Tuesday morning.