Chicago Cubs Rumors: 1 pitcher to release, 1 to trade, and 1 to keep at the deadline

The Chicago Cubs are still projected to be sellers at the trade deadline and there are a few moves they should make to shake up their pitching staff and prepare the team for the future.
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Marcus Stroman would fetch a haul at the deadline

This year, the Cubs may have the crown jewel of the starting pitching trade market assuming Shohei Ohtani isn't on the trade block. Marcus Stroman, for as good as he would be to keep around for the foreseeable future, will be sought after by a lot of competitors looking to add that final piece to their rotation in order to get them over the top. Someone is going to be willing to give up a strong package for him, even if he's just a rental.

Currently, Stroman sits with a 3.09 ERA despite his recent struggles, placing him third among qualified pitchers in the National League and eighth in all of baseball. His 3.51 FIP is also very respectable. He's hardly on his best stretch with a 6.20 ERA in July, it's clear a lot of teams highly value his services. Already, the Blue Jays, Astros, and Rays are among the teams that have expressed interest in Stroman. Other pitching-needy teams like the Orioles, too, would almost certainly be in on the veteran righty.

The logic behind trading Stroman is simple - he'll almost certainly opt out of his deal and become a free agent in the offseason meaning it's time to capitalize on him at the height of his value before he potentially walks. It helps that 2024's free agent class is very pitching-heavy, boasting names like Julio Urias, Aaron Nola, and Blake Snell. It's unlikely, but there's also nothing keeping him from returning in the offseason. Stroman is a perfect fit for this team and he loves it in Chicago, but if they're out of it, it's completely clear he should be at the top of their list of pieces to move.