3 early trade targets to bolster the Chicago Cubs bullpen

The Cubs could use more firepower in the bullpen, and they should keep these arms in mind during trade season
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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3. Brock Stewart - Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins have gotten off to a really bad start with a 6-11 record and their starting third baseman Royce Lewis hitting the injured list in the first game of the year. There's definitely time to course correct, but the AL Central is a more formidable division than it has been in recent years. The Cleveland Guardians can never be counted out as their ability to develop high-end pitching is almost a guarantee at this point and they currently have a solid 13-6 record. Likewise, while the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers are not great teams, they do not look like pushover teams anymore. All of this points to the fact that it will be extremely difficult for the Twins to win their division and thus make the playoffs. This means there is a good chance the Twins will sell at the trade deadline.

The Twins have an excellent closer on their staff right now in Jhoan Duran, but he is only 26 and under team control for the upcoming three seasons. It would be foolish for them to move Duran right now. But set-up man Brock Stewart is a different story. In 2023 and 2024, Stewart has a 0.50 ERA over 36 innings with an impressive 50 strikeouts. Like Duran, Stewart is under team control for the next three seasons. The difference is that Stewart is 32 years old and is much more expendable.

Stewart also has a history with the Cubs. Back in 2019, the Cubs selected Stewart in the Rule 5 draft from the Toronto Blue Jays. He's had a shaky road to the majors with COVID-19 wiping out an entire year followed by a Tommy John surgery in 2021. But Stewart has effectively revived his career in Minnesota and the team might be willing to flip him with a playoff run looking unlikely.

Minnesota currently ranks in the bottom five in the league in several hitting categories as a team, including batting average (30th), on-base percentage (27th), and wRC+ (27th). Their farm system is in the middle of the pack and they don't have many impact bats coming soon to help their situation. The Cubs could provide a young hitter for the Twins along the lines of Matt Mervis, Haydn McGeary, or Kevin Alcantara. The Twins need hitters, and the Cubs have a lot of them to sell, so this move could make a lot of sense come July.