Chicago Cubs Rumors: Christopher Morel involved in trade talks with Rays

The Chicago Cubs remain engaged in trade discussions with the Tampa Bay Rays regarding starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow with the latest being that Christopher Morel is involved.

Oct 1, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Christopher Morel (5) jokes with
Oct 1, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Christopher Morel (5) jokes with / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs remain in trade talks with the Tampa Bay Rays regarding starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

In what was nearly a carbon copy of the tweet that he had last week, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are in trade talks with the Rays for Glasnow. The difference from the tweet from last week is that Morosi mentions a Glasnow trade may happen after Shohei Ohtani signs.

There shouldn't be much reason for the Glasnow trade discussions to hinge on the decision that Ohtani makes. Ohtani is not going to be pitching during the 2024 season so any team that signs him likely would still have a need at the top of their starting rotation. The caveat is that if a team that is in on Ohtani misses and then pivots to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, sure, they likely would not have an interest in trading for Glasnow. But even then, at $25MM in the final year of his deal, acquiring Glasnow wouldn't prohibit a team from targeting Yamamoto.

Moving on from the Ohtani aspect, it makes sense for the Rays to play the Reds and Cubs off each other. The idea is that one team would not want to be outbid by their division rival. To that end, that may be the premise of this report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Christopher Morel in any deal with the Rays where Glasnow is the only player returning to the Cubs would be a massive risk for the organization. Assuming the Cubs are indeed out on Ohtani, moving an ascending power-hitter who is 24 and under team control until 2029 for an oft-injured starting pitcher who is a free agent after next season is not a move that makes the team clearly better.

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