Chicago Cubs Rumors: Tampa Bay Rays interested in Marcus Stroman

The Tampa Bay Rays have a need for starting pitching and could be targeting Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline.
Boston Red Sox v Chicago Cubs
Boston Red Sox v Chicago Cubs / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Marcus Stroman will have no shortage of interested teams as the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline approaches on August 1.

Over the weekend, the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays were identified as teams interested in Stroman and we can now add another team to that list.

The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma mentioned during the latest episode of the "Onto Waveland" Podcast with Brett Taylor of Bleacher Nation that the Tampa Bay Rays may have an interest in Stroman.

Trading with the Rays should always be a cautionary tale for other Major League Baseball. The Rays are the best-run organization in all of Major League Baseball and they often are not wrong when they decide to give up on a prospect.

The concern in making a trade with the Rays is that their willingness to part with a prospect may suggest that they don't feel confident in the prospect's projection at the Major League level. Case in point, the Rays were more than willing to part with Miles Mastrobuoni in a trade with the Cubs last November.

The Rays do have four prospects on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list but immediately, we can likely rule out Junior Caminero, No. 14, and shortstop Carson Williams, No. 23, from being included in a potential Stroman deal.

An intriguing prospect name might be first base prospect Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo participated in the MLB Futures game during the All-Star break and has shown tremendous power during his ascension through the Rays' Minor League system.

MLB Pipeline has Manzardo No. 38 on their Top-100 list and this season with the Rays' Triple-A affiliate, the left-handed hitting first baseman is slashing .238/.342/.442 with 11 home runs.

If the Cubs are going to be sellers at the deadline, then the clear target for the team should be power prospects that are on the verge of being ready for the Major League level. Manzardo would fit that profile as he seems like an ideal second-half prospect that can get an extended run for another Major League team if it is not the Rays.

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