2. RHP Cade Horton
Cade Horton has surprisingly transformed into the best pitching prospect in the Cubs' system. Similar to Wicks, Horton was a first-round pick from 2022 but he did not have much success before he was chosen. In fact, many criticized the Cubs for drafting Horton so high as he only recently developed a devastating slider which he utilized successfully in the College World Series. But the Cubs saw something in Horton, and now he is the 29th-best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com.
In his first full season, Horton has been able to fully harness his slider in tandem with a powerful upper 90s fastball to rack up 117 strikeouts in 88.1 innings. By the end of 2022, Horton made his way to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies and he posted a 2.65 ERA. The 22-year-old will likely make his way to the Triple-A level next year and be primed for an MLB debut within the next two years.
The Cubs already have a wealth of starting pitching depth even without Horton in the picture so letting go of him would not be the end of the world. Horton's high value could also keep the Cubs from giving up too many players in this hypothetical deal.