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
Miami Marlins v New York Yankees / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Trade Number Three:

Chicago Cubs receive LHP Tanner Scott

Florida Marlins receive SS Derniche Valdez

What are the Cubs getting?

Tanner Scott has had an interesting career thus far. He’s been a closer for much of the last three seasons to a mixed bag of results. In 2022 he racked up 20 saves with 12.9 K/9 but he also had a 6.6 BB/9 rate which led to a 4.31 ERA.

Last season, in more of a setup role he had 12 saves, 12 K/9, and a much more palatable 2.8 BB/9 rate which saw him have second best season ERA of his career at 2.31.

This season his ERA is even lower at 1.59. On the surface that looks great but his FIP is 5.87 and his BB/9 is a whopping 14.3 with a K/9 rate of 9.5. The small sample size makes that look insane in a variety of ways, but Scott would provide a high-leverage lefty out of the bullpen to pair with Luke Little.

What are the Cubs giving up?

Derniche Valdez, much like Pedro Ramirez, is another of the Cubs’ very interesting young middle infielders. MLB Pipeline has him as the Cubs’ 20th-best prospect and last year in Rookie Ball he had ten extra-base hits in his 107 at-bats which led to a .477 slugging percentage.

He didn’t turn 18 until March 29 so he’s got a lengthy development ahead of him but he has the kind of power/speed and up-the-middle ability that the Marlins have liked in the past.  

Who says no?

The Cubs. Tanner Scott is a solid player but he gives shades of Michael Fulmer in 2023 with his blowups and the Cubs don’t want fans to compare the 2024 bullpen to the 2023 bullpen if they can avoid it. This is a deal that becomes significantly more likely in June or July rather than April.