The Chicago Cubs have shifted to being buyers at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline and in addition to a need for a late-inning left-handed relief pitcher, the Cubs are also believed to be in the market for a bat to add to the middle of their lineup.
That could be the reason why the Los Angeles Angels trade on Sunday night may have been a deflating feeling for the Cubs' front office. In their deal with the Colorado Rockies on Sunday night, the Angels acquired Rockies' first baseman C.J. Cron and outfielder Randal Grichuk.
Cron was an ideal fit for the Cubs considering their need for a power bat that can play first base but the team will now be forced to look at alternative options.
In his latest with The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal provided some insight into the hitters that are available on the trade market.
"Still, a number of hitters remain available, from the Nats’ Jeimer Candelario to the Mets’ Mark Canha and Tommy Pham; the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernández to the Cardinals’ Paul DeJong to the Red Sox’s Adam Duvall and possibly Alex Verdugo."- Ken Rosenthal via The Athletic
Of the hitters listed by Rosenthal, there is no question that Candelario would be the best fit for the Cubs given his ability to third base and his history of playing first base earlier in his career.
The issue is that all the teams that are in the market for a bat as the deadline approaches have circled Candelario as the top available rental. Candelario has 16 home runs and a 121 wRC+ on the season and it remains to be seen if the Cubs will be willing to part with the prospect capital that it would take to land their former prospect.
Outside of Candelario, the Cubs may need to get creative with their bat addition. Teoscar Hernandez would certainly match what the team needs offensively but is not a positional fit given the Cubs' preference for Christopher Morel not playing third base at the time being.
Mark Canha has played 13 games at first base this season for the Mets and while he does not have the power of Candelario or Hernandez, his 107 wRC+ would be a significant improvement from the production that the team has received from Trey Mancini.