Trade 5: The Chicago Cubs trade RHP Marcus Stroman to the Tampa Bay Rays for 1B Kyle Manzardo, LHP Ian Seymour, and OF Heriberto Hernandez
Crazy how we save this trade for last, but this is a deal the Cubs have to make. It doesn’t have to be for these players, and it doesn’t have to be to the Rays, but Marcus Stroman simply cannot be on this roster after the trade deadline if the Cubs fall out of contention.
Should the Cubs extend him? Maybe. Probably. But will they? Absolutely not, and if you don’t recognize that after hearing the way Hoyer has been talking then there’s a bigger problem. At the point in which the Cubs won’t extend him in season and they can’t give him a qualifying offer in the off-season then they run the risk of him walking for absolutely nothing.
I didn’t want to lose Javy Baez. I didn’t want to lose Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo or anyone else on that championship team, but in return, I now see Pete Crow-Armstrong, Kevin Alcantara, and Owen Caissie in the system and it makes it easier to stomach. The Cubs kept Willson Contreras last year and in return… received nothing. That hurts much worse.
So with all of that said, let’s get into the return: First base is an area where the Cubs are in a tough spot. Jared Young is a cool story, Matt Mervis has some interesting power but can’t hit lefties and Haydn McGeary has been awesome against AA competition but we can’t bet on that. Kyle Manzardo is having a down year this year batting .239/.345/.444 but last season he hit .327/.426/.617 across two levels.
Ian Seymour is an upside play in a similar way to Whitley in the Astros deal. This is what MLB.com had to say about him:
"Seymour was seemingly on the fast track to the big leagues entering last season. Undrafted out of high school, three strong seasons at Virginia Tech and a strong Cape Cod League performance turned him into a second-round pick in the 2020 Draft. Flexor soreness delayed his pro debut until July 2021, but he moved quickly and effectively after that. In 14 outings from Single-A to Triple-A, the lefty posted a 1.95 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings and even caught the big league staff’s attention. But his ascent was delayed in 2022, when he began the season in Double-A, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in early June."- MLB.com
He threw one inning on the 4th of July and faced three guys, striking out all three. If he’s back, that’d be a heck of a guy to add to a deep pitching system.
Finally, Heriberto Hernandez is a guy I’ve liked since he signed with the Rangers years ago. He’s not a guy that’s going to hit for a great average but he has some solid pop and even though he’s not as interesting as he was in his days with the Rangers (when he was hitting dingers as a catcher) he’s still a great third piece in a deal like this. MLB.com had this to say:
"Following a solid organizational debut in 2021, Hernandez was named the team MVP for High-A Bowling Green last year after hitting .255/.368/.499 with 24 homers and 89 RBIs."- MLB.com