2 AL teams are scouting the Cubs; could Cody Bellinger be on the move?

The Yankees and Rangers are honed in on the struggling Cubs as some wonder if the reigning NL Comeback Player of the Year could wind up on the block in July.
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

It took extra innings, but the Chicago Cubs managed to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon - and now head to Milwaukee to take on the first-place Brewers, who lead Craig Counsell's club by 10 1/2 games in the standings heading into the weekend.

A 20-32 record since the start of May has torpedoed the Cubs' postseason chances. Hope still exists only because of a sea of mediocrity in the National League that's led to an uninspiring, yet crowded, wild card picture. But the hard truth is this: Chicago could end up selling, even if they're not built to do so.

According to The Athletic (subscription required), the rest of the league is keeping tabs on the Cubs, with the Yankees and Rangers specifically having a 'noticeable scouting presence' around the team.

Cody Bellinger's name is already popping up in Cubs trade rumors

One name, in particular, called out in the report is Cody Bellinger who returned to Chicago after a lengthy and ultimately disappointing foray into free agency on the heels of his bounceback campaign last season. If he got hot between now and July 30, interest could peak, with teams looking at him as less of a risk given his contract status (he has opt-outs after year 1 and year 2 of his deal, so he could wind up being a shot in the arm in the second half or a longer-term add).

Bellinger has still been an above-average offensive player, but he's not been able to replicate what he did last year. It's hard to say what the Cubs could get for him via trade - and, frankly, that will be determined by how he and the team play in the coming weeks.

As we've talked about a lot lately, there aren't a lot of obvious trade chips on this team. But Mike Tauchman and Kyle Hendricks both make some degree of sense. There's time to get back in a position where Jed Hoyer can reasonably buy at the deadline, but the clock is ticking. And if time runs out, we'll be seeing a lot more reports like this one.