4 realistic trade proposals to give the Cubs their ace

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics
Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Pablo Lopez / Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Trade Scenario #1: Cubs snag Pablo Lopez from Miami

Realistically, Pablo Lopez might be one of the easier pitchers to secure via trade this winter given Miami's plethora of arms. Thankfully, the Cubs have a nice mix of pieces to put together enticing packages without decimating the big league roster. Offering up Caleb Kilian, Christopher Morel and Adrian Sampson shows equal value on paper. The Marlins get the Cubs' #14 prospect, a 45 FV prospect in Kilian, plus the up-and-comer Morel while adding in a solid veteran in the form of Adrian Sampson.

Though he slowed down at the end of 2022, Lopez went an absolute tear in the first half of the season. He finished the first half with a 2.86 ERA over the course of 104 Innings of work. Considering Lopez only pitched 102 innings in all of the 2021 season, it's safe to say his 180 frames this year was a bit of an uptick.

In fact, it was nearly 70 innings higher than his career high of 111 2/3 innings in 2019. Lopez started to break out last year with a 3.07 ERA over 20 starts last season. At 26 years old, he has major front of the rotation potential for the Cubs, especially playing in a less competitive NL Central.