With the trade deadline come and gone, there's only one way left for the Chicago Cubs to add talent to the big league roster - the farm system. As it is every year, they'll get a prime opportunity to do that in the coming weeks as rosters expand and September call-ups begin.
Even as they've managed to survive the deadline and play remarkably well, there are still some notable holes on this team that need to be filled. Their main concern right now is the pitching staff where, thanks to a mix of injuries and poor performance, they now sit at 16th overall in team ERA with a 4.19 mark. Another lefty reliever would be especially nice, but any extra depth to help them get by down the stretch would be golden. It can never hurt to add another bat either.
There are plenty of players you could make arguments for. Matt Mervis, for one, could certainly use another look to get a better feel for where he stands within the organization. The same goes for Yonathan Perlaza who has been crushing the ball in Iowa. On the pitching end, a guy like Bailey Horn could potentially be useful as depth for the bullpen. Here are three names in particular that I personally would like to see given the call-up come September.
#3: Luke Little
The Cubs desperately need some help in the bullpen. While they've built up a solid core of Michael Fulmer, Julian Merryweather, Mark Leiter Jr., and Adbert Alzolay while Jose Cuas has been a surprisingly solid addition so far, it's clear they needed to go out and acquire some extra firepower at the deadline. Their core four have all been leaned on a ton - in Alzolay and Merryweather's case, at a career-high level - and a little rest would do them all some good.
One exciting prospect who could spell those four and add a lefty presence to the 'pen is fireballer Luke Little. When he was drafted, Little was already leaving fans salivating with his wicked fastball. In the minors this year, he's been solid with a 3.12 ERA in Double-A before making the jump to Triple-A Iowa very recently. His walk rate is high, but he pairs it with an eye-popping 16.4 strikeout rate while limiting homers and hits in general at an elite rate.
There's a bit of a dual purpose in bringing up Little. On the one hand, he has the potential to be a high-powered addition to the Cubs in an area where they could really use it. On the other, it's critical that the team get a feel for which of the arms in their system have the best chance to help them in the future. Little's ceiling is sky-high and if he looks good in his last few Triple-A appearances, he could be Northside bound to close out the year.