There has been a common belief that if the Cubs are going to acquire a top-tier starting pitcher this offseason, it will be through a trade. The injury to outfielder prospect Alexander Canario may impact the Cubs' ability to pull off a trade for a true top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher this offseason but the team still does have pieces they can put together to at least get in the conversation.
The Guardians are fresh off an American League Central division title in 2022 and it seems unlikely that the team would be willing to move starting pitcher Shane Bieber this offseason. Bieber, 27, is under team control until 2025 and has emerged as one of the best pitchers in the American League. With the Guardians last season, Bieber posted a 2.88 ERA (2.87 FIP) in 200 innings pitched. Without question, Bieber would be the ace that the Cubs need at the top of their rotation.
The package of prospects Brennan Davis and Jordan Wicks along with Major Leaguers Nick Madrigal and Patrick Wisdom likely would not be enough to get the deal done for the Cubs. Given Madrigal's inability to stay healthy, the back concerns with Davis, and Wisdom's offensive profile not being a need for the Guardians, there is no reason for them to want to take this deal.