3 reasonable trades that would make the Chicago Cubs contenders

The Chicago Cubs have a good team, a great team even, but the bullpen has to improve in order to become a World Series contender and these three deals do that.
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The Chicago Cubs are off to a hot start in 2024, but the problem is that’s true for almost all of the NL Central as well (sorry, St. Louis… but not really).

In what appears to be a very competitive division the Cubs don’t have the luxury of waiting around to see how things play out and should instead begin focusing on how they can improve their roster to move from a wild card team to a division winner and real contender for a World Series.

The trades that we’re looking at for this piece aren’t going to be outlandish or do things that rarely happen, such as a trade within the division or with a team that is obviously on the same trajectory that the Cubs find themselves on.

Trade Number One:

Chicago Cubs receive RHP Michael Kopech

Chicago White Sox receive SS Pedro Ramirez and C Pablo Aliendo

What are the Cubs getting?

Michael Kopech is the exact kind of player that the Cubs should be looking to target in a deal like this. He was the crown jewel in the Chris Sale trade to Boston years ago and while he's shown the ability to be a starter it appears that he may be better suited to the bullpen.

This guy throws straight gas and has high-leverage written all over him. He’s under cheap team control through 2025 and would give the Cubs an interesting righty that can miss bats with high-velocity.

What are the Cubs giving up?

Pedro Ramirez just turned 20 in April and he’s one of the Cubs many middle-infield prospects with extremely high upside. Last season he hit .266/.358/.404 in Low-A as a player two years younger than his average competitor and this season he’s starting at High-A South Bend. MLB Pipeline has him as the Cubs’ 17th-best prospect.

Pablo Aliendo is ranked as the Cubs’ 21st-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and he’s a player the Cubs would have to be comfortable losing in a deal like this. He was solid in AA Tennessee last year from a power perspective where he connected with 16 homers in just 91 games, but he’s definitely the third-best catcher in the system at the moment and he’s back in Tennessee to start the season. 

Who says no?

Probably the White Sox. Their team is truly terrible and had no shot to win the AL Central even if they hadn’t been bitten by the injury bug as hard as they have been. That being said, they don’t like dealing players across town unless they are coming away obviously victorious so I’d imagine they’ll hold Kopech and try to get more for him at the deadline.