As the top MLB free agents have all found a new home, it's time to begin thinking about who will be traded around the league. The Chicago Cubs will have a stronger rotation in 2023 than they did in 2022 with the addition of Jameson Taillon, however as Marcus Stroman is entering his final season before his player option, there needs to be the thought that the Cubs will trade for a starting pitcher. A player that the Cubs should target may not be as drastic or far-fetched as Matt Chapman, and it is risky given his injuries the past 2 seasons, but the Cubs should consider trading for Atlanta Braves starter, Mike Soroka. Soroka will be a free agent at the end of the 2024 season.
Soroka hasn’t pitched since opening day in 2020. However, the 25-year-old may just be a solid target for the Cubs, who may not be so confident in their young pitchers. Even though Soroka has not pitched since 2020, in his 3 seasons, he has a career 2.86 ERA in 214 innings with a 1.164 WHIP. In 2019, Soroka finished the season as a Cy Young finalist and a Rookie of the Year finalist.
Soroka could greatly benefit the Cubs rotation, or even the bullpen if he ends up there due to his ongoing Achilles injury. Adding Soroka to a rotation consisting of Taillon, Justin Steele, Keegan Thompson, Hayden Weskeski and Marcus Stroman would greatly impact the Cubs, not just for the 2023 season, but for future seasons to come.
But how would trading Soroka impact the Atlanta Braves? Probably not much. The Braves won the World Series without him, consistently have prospects, especially pitchers, turning out to be good, and are not afraid of trading at the deadline for a star. Currently, the Braves rotation is Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider, and Bryce Elder. 7 of their top 10 prospects are pitchers, at least one will be good. So, what could a trade proposal look like?
The Cubs should have no problem moving on from Alzolay, as he also has had some injury issues as of late. They also should be more than confident in trading Bellinger as they just signed him to a 1-year deal. This trade makes sense for both teams. The Cubs receive a young pitcher who has a lot of potential but has been unfortunate with injuries. The Braves receive a former MVP with elite defense and another young pitcher who has potential. Both Alzolay and Soroka would be extended, and both teams become better all-around.