3 way too early Chicago Cubs targets at the trade deadline

These three potential Cubs targets are as good as gone if their team isn't winning at the trade deadline.

Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages
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With Opening Day right around the corner, it's hard not to get excited about where this Chicago Cubs team could end up in the standings. That got me thinking: If this team is winning ballgames, who are some viable trade candidates that could be available at the deadline this year? More than likely, the team won't require offense, barring anything unforeseen. Pitching, on the other hand, is a different story. Let's look at three players the Cubs could target at the 2024 trade deadline.

3 trade candidates - 3. Shane Bieber

Often Cubs-connected Shane Bieber is still a Cleveland Guardian to begin the 2024 campaign. His availability at the trade deadline completely hinges on where the Guardians sit in the standings and if they want to keep him while looking to complete. With it being rare that Cleveland extends players, it’s nearly certain that Bieber will reach free agency this winter unless he is moved and extended with a new team. That’s where the Cubs, who didn’t want to pay a premium for Bieber via trade a couple of months ago will likely be back in the mix.

The Cubs’ pitching staff is deep, but they lack someone outside of Justin Steele who can be counted on at the top of the rotation. Although Bieber missed over two months with elbow inflammation last season, he has looked just fine in spring training this year with a 3.18 ERA over 5.2 innings in two starts.

Whether or not the Detroit Tigers or Kansas City Royals did enough to help hold the Guardians back remains to be seen, but in an overcrowded American League in terms of competition, the road to the playoffs for Cleveland is likely through winning the Division or bust. If they find themselves several games back at the deadline, look for trade talks regarding Bieber to ramp up again, and expect the Cubs to come calling.