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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Kyle Hendricks could help the Cubs beyond 2023

Compared to Stroman, there's little logic behind trading Kyle Hendricks this year even if the Cubs are sellers. On paper, The Professor looks like a prime candidate to ship out. He's been everything they could've hoped for and more since returning from injury, posting a 3.38 ERA and 4.21 FIP through 64 innings and is coming off another strong performance against the White Sox.

There are a few hang-ups though. For one, he has a club option with the Cubs that's worth around $14.5 million after factoring in the buyout. In terms of a one-year deal for a back-end starter, that's not bad at all considering what he's shown this year. Dealing him would add another hole to the roster that really doesn't need to be made. While there should be a pivot toward younger arms like Ben Brown, Hendricks would be the stable veteran presence that rotation needs in order to keep running smoothly.

More importantly, he's almost certainly not going to sell for much. The sample size for this year isn't huge, yet he's coming off of two straight years with an ERA near five along with a season-ending capsular tear in his right shoulder last year. As a clear fourth or fifth man in a rotation, he'll likely draw some solid offers from teams looking to shore things up. Those offers won't be needle-movers like a package for Stroman though.

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Given the option and what Hendricks still has to offer this Cubs team, it would require an obvious win of a trade to justify moving him. That doesn't seem likely and this organization equally seems unlikely to sell for the sake of selling. It's simply hard to see a world where selling The Professor is remotely worth it.