The Chicago Cubs' 3-0 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night kept the hope alive that the team can be buyers at the 2023 Major League Baseball Trade Deadline.
While the Cubs may not be firm buyers in the sense that they will be willing to part with top prospects for a pure rental with the goal of winning the World Series in 2023, the team could be in a position where they could be soft buyers.
There is also a scenario where the team could try and pull off being sellers and buyers. Such a scenario could see the Cubs part with one of their veteran catchers in Yan Gomes or Tucker Barnhart for a piece that can help them right away.
Under either the soft buy scenario or where the team threads the needle between being a buyer and a seller, Washington Nationals' third baseman Jeimer Candelario would be an ideal target for the Cubs.
Candelario is on pace to have a career-high in home runs this season as he currently has 12 with the first half concluding on Sunday. In 354 plate appearances this season, Candelario is slashing .261/.339/.475 with a 118 wRC+. Candelario also has registered 7 outs above average this season at third base and would fit with the Cubs' run-prevention model.
It would appear that interest in Candelario is picking up as Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported on Friday that the third baseman was drawing strong interest across the league.
As a refresher on "rumor season", typically when a rumor is followed with "strong interest", that could be a precursor to a move happening relatively soon. The Nationals are one of the clear sellers at the deadline this season so trading Candelaro may be the first of many moves the team makes over the course of the next few weeks.