5 blockbuster trades the Cubs could, but won't make ahead of the trade deadline

The Cubs could change the entire landscape of power in the National League, but will instead opt for marginal improvements with an eye on 2024 and beyond.
Pittsburgh Pirates v San Diego Padres
Pittsburgh Pirates v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages
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5 blockbuster trades the Cubs won't make: #1 - Josh Hader

Like I said when looking at Soto, I'm still not even convinced the Padres will sell before the Aug. 1 trade deadline. But if they do, the Cubs aren't going to be the team that ponies up for Josh Hader, regardless of how badly they need a shutdown lefty in the bullpen.

Why, you ask? Because adding Hader doesn't make the Cubs a postseason team - the same way that adding Bednar doesn't. A free agent at year's end, if San Diego puts him on the block, he's going to a team that's ticketed for October, not a club whose postseason fate remains in question.

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Maybe the Cubs go get Hader in free agency. The money will be there, to be sure. Even as sellers, there's no guarantee Chicago punches its postseason ticket for the first time since 2020 - and knowing that, you can't expect Hoyer to trade his top 100 guys. You just can't.