5 overly optimistic predictions for the Chicago Cubs second half

The Chicago Cubs have the NL Central division within their grasp with an easy schedule going into the trade deadline. Here's some optimistic predictions for the second half.

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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2. The Cubs soft sell at the deadline

I think it is very unlikely the Cubs will win enough games to convince themselves that they are buyers at this year's trade deadline. This is not the worst thing in the world because the Cubs may be able to trade some assets and still set themselves up to compete in 2024. The most likely trade candidate in my opinion is Marcus Stroman, who is having one of the best stretches of his career. The 32-year-old right-hander will draw significant interest from multiple teams looking to bolster their rotation. The most likely suitors are the Texas Rangers, the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Atlanta Braves.

Another likely candidate to go would be reliever Michael Fulmer, who despite his mighty struggles in the first two months has grown more trustworthy in June and July. The 30-year-old has given up just 2 earned runs since May 28th and competing teams could always use an extra bullpen arm. The Cubs have successfully moved relievers like Fulmer in the past two years to acquire some of their best prospects. The deals for David Robertson, Andrew Chafin, and Scott Effross proved to be very lucrative.

Aside from those two guys who are on expiring contracts, I would keep everyone else including Cody Bellinger. This lineup needs left-handed power and it doesn't make sense to move the only guy in your lineup that provides that on a consistent basis. If Bellinger continues to rake and wants more money at the end of the year, then pay the guy.