The Chicago Cubs begin the second half of the season with a need for getting off to a hot start in order to remain in contention in the National League Central Division.
The Cubs are five games under the .500 mark on the season and seven games behind the first-place Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs have a favorable start to the second half of the season and short of the bottom falling out on their season, there is a reasonable expectation that the team could be buyers at the deadline.
In the event that the bottom does fall out and the front office approaches the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline with the mindset of selling, teams across the league will be waiting.
Jon Heyman of The New York Post reported on Friday that teams are circling with interest in starting pitcher Marcus Stroman and center fielder Cody Bellinger as they wait for the Cubs' decision in regard to the deadline.
"The Cubs also are being eyed as a team that has valuable pieces to sell (Marcus Stroman, Cody Bellinger, etc.), but they’ll wait until closer to the deadline."- Jon Heyman via The New York Post
Heyman was not the only one to throw out Stroman's name on Friday. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score predicted that Stroman would be moved before the deadline.
Levine also believes the Cubs lost 6 of their last 7 games so perhaps he hadn't had his coffee yet when he made that prediction.
The Cubs will be in a unique position at the deadline and that could see the team operate as both sellers and buyers. The Cubs could move a starting pitcher like Drew Smyly or Kyle Hendricks while also using some of their prospect capital, specifically the prospects that have blocked paths to the Major League level, to acquire pieces that can help them remain in contention this season and set them up nicely for 2024.