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.
Miami Marlins v New York Yankees
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Trade Number Two:

Chicago Cubs receive RHP Emmanuel Clase

Cleveland Guardians receive OF Alexander Canario, IF James Triantos and RHP Daniel Palencia

What are the Cubs getting?

Emmanuel Clase may be the best closer in baseball. His stats over the last two years speak for themselves and he’s off to a hot start again this year with a 0.00 ERA over six innings. He has four saves and he’s got his strikeout rate back up to one per inning, so there’s legitimately nothing not to like about him as a player at this point. 

He’s also under team control through the 2028 season which would put the question of “who will be the closer” out of concern for the foreseeable future. 

What are the Cubs giving up?

The cost of this one is heavy. The Cubs would be giving up their 6th (Triantos), and 10th (Canario) best prospects as well as a pitcher they liked enough to fast-track to the majors last season. 

Canario is a great player who simply may not have a place on this iteration of the Chicago Cubs. Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ have the corner spots locked up through 2026, Cody Bellinger is the center fielder for now with Pete Crow-Armstrong in waiting and Christopher Morel seems destined for the DH spot. Sometimes great teams have to let great players go. 

Triantos is in a similar position. He’s considered a top second base prospect in all of the minor leagues and he’s mashing this season to the tune of .412/.500/.529. That being said the Cubs have Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner locked up long-term and may want to capitalize on his value now to solve the back of their bullpen.

Finally, Daniel Palencia is a Major League caliber reliever and with a little more time could have been a Major League caliber starter. When Julian Merryweather went down it was Palencia that received that first call from Iowa, not Hayden Wesneski or anyone else which should tell you how much the Cubs like him. 

Who says no?

Today, probably both teams. Jed Hoyer doesn’t like to send away prospect capital in quantity and there is plenty of quality in this deal as well. Beyond that, the Guardians are off to a blistering start that sees them leading the AL Central (although that likely won’t be for long) so they’d have a hard time trading their most valuable pitcher on the roster.