3 areas the Chicago Cubs need to address via a big-time trade

Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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After the Chicago Cubs extended Ian Happ for an extra three years starting in 2024, it became ever so evident the front office believes the team's window for contention is rapidly approaching, if not already cracking open. With a solid core consisting of Happ, Dansby Swanson, Nico Hoerner and Seiya Suzuki, the Cubs have half of a lineup that can help lead them toward contention. But what about patching up other areas on the roster?

The upcoming free agent market, at least in terms of offensive weapons, is sorely lacking compared to this past winter. Across the league, free agency dollars will likely be spent on starting pitchers - an area the Cubs could potentially explore, especially at the top of the market.

This means to compete; the Cubs will turn to the trade market. They now have only one spot in the outfield, presumably for Pete Crow-Armstrong, meaning some of the team's top outfield prospects could wind up as trade chips. With that in mind, let's explore three big-time trades the team could make.

3 areas the Chicago Cubs need to address via a big-time trade: #3 - Finally add that true top-of-the-rotation ace

The first pitcher that comes to mind when I think of a primetime, top-of-the-rotation arm is Sandy Alcantara. Would the Marlins entertain a trade if they get the return to make it worth it their time? Before we move on, yes, the asking price will be astronomical. However, in the best-case situation, Crow-Armstrong becomes the everyday center fielder for the Cubs.

That means all of Brennen Davis, Alexander Canario, Kevin Alcantara, and Owen Caissie all lack a clear path to playing time at the big league level and, thus, are expendable. Of course, the Cubs will want to keep their farm somewhat intact as they make an aggressive push for the postseason, but there is no need to keep an abundance of players that won't be able to play.

Unlike a lot of teams out there, Chicago has the talent capital to pull off a blockbuster trade like this. Alcantara would give the Cubs that badly-needed ace, fresh off a Cy Young Award a season ago after posting a 2.28 ERA in 228 2/3 innings of work. Miami felt comfortable enough with their pitching depth to trade from it once already, sending Pablo Lopez to the Twins in exchange for batting champion Luis Arraez last winter.

To reiterate, the asking price will be insane, but Alcantara isn't a free agent until 2028. He'd serve as the team's ace moving forward and would almost immediately help the Cubs become legitimate contenders.