6 Cubs trade deadline targets, ranked from likely to long shots

If the Cubs wind up buying at the trade deadline, here are some possible names to keep an eye on.
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners v San Diego Padres / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages
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6 Cubs trade targets, ranked most likely to least likely: #2 - Josh Hader

Another team that headed in with expectations as high as its payroll, the San Diego Padres are one of the top disappointments in all of baseball so far this season. They enter the second half at 43-47, 8 1/2 games out in the NL West - and could be sellers if they stumble down the stretch in July.

Given the Cubs' needs in the bullpen, specifically for left-handed relievers, All-Star closer Josh Hader would make for a blockbuster-level splash for Hoyer and the front office. A free agent at season's end, the left-hander has only driven his value higher with his work on the mound this year for the Padres, pitching to a 1.08 ERA and 1.020 WHIP, while averaging north of 13 strikeouts per nine.

Chicago's left-handed relief options are marginal, at best. With Brandon Hughes done for the year with a knee injury, the Cubs have been forced to rely on Anthony Kay. The early returns have been solid, but in a very limited body of work. It's safe to say if the game is on the line and you need a shutdown left, this probably isn't the guy you envision coming out of the pen.

Hader wouldn't come cheap as the top southpaw relief weapon potentially available. I think a more likely option would be more along the lines of a Brad Hand route, where you aren't coming off top prospects, but like I said at the start: we're covering the full range of options here, and this one comes in on the long, long shot end of the spectrum.