With only eight days until the MLB trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs are in a predicament regarding what to do this season. For one, as we saw last year, you have winnable games coming up and several other reasons to believe the Cubs could come on strong in the 2nd half. Part of that, however, will take winning games over the next week to prove to Jed Hoyer and company that this team has a fighting chance. They currently sit 6.5 out of the NL Central, but now only 5.0 games out of the Wild Card. Both are certainly still within reach.
With the Cubs currently at an estimated tax payroll of $221.2M, nearly 12.0M under the first tier of the luxury tax threshold, they still have plenty of room to add salary for guys that have already paid for two-thirds of the season. Should the Cubs be buyers, they certainly can afford a reliever and a hitter. These three relievers are some of the calibers the Cubs can target and keep a close eye on as the trade deadline draws near.
3 relievers to target via trade - Daniel Bard
Starting with Daniel Bard of the Colorado Rockies. Impressively, Bard has a 2.02 ERA. Looking at some significant splits for pitchers that play at Coors Field, Bard owns a 2.50 ERA at home this year, which is nothing short of incredible. On the road, however, in 17.2 IP, Bard has a 1.53 ERA. His salary is steep at 9.5M annually, but his reputation is someone you can depend on to come in a game and lock it down.
If he were inserted into the Chicago Cubs bullpen today, he would have the best ERA and could certainly be used in closing duties if the opportunity arose. Part of the trade deadline plans for the Cubs need to be seeing how they can get set up for next season. Adding Bard to the mix now gives them a jump start on a solid bullpen for 2024. Nevertheless, the Cubs won't be the only ones in line but must be ready to strike if they can part with what the Rockies will want in return.