Could the Cubs swing a trade for this prime change-of-scenery candidate?

Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

In the short-term, the Cubs' outfield mix could wind up being a position of strength: switch-hitting Gold Glover Ian Happ will handle duties in left, Seiya Suzuki returns for his second season in the bigs over in right field and former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP Cody Bellinger will look to return to form in center field.

But the picture beyond next season quickly becomes muddied. Happ and Bellinger could both be free agents next winter, and two of the team's top outfield prospects - Brennen Davis and Alexander Canario - come with their fair share of injury concerns.

Cubs, Angels could easily line up on a mutually beneficial Jo Adell trade

Flipping through MLB Trade Rumors this morning, Nick Deeds pondered the idea of the Angels shopping former top prospect Jo Adell given the revamped outfield mix in Anaheim that now features Mike Trout, Hunter Renfroe, Taylor Ward and Mickey Moniak. The reps aren't there for Adell at the DH spot, either, with 2022 AL MVP runner-up Shohei Ohtani in the mix with his eyes on a major payday next offseason.

Adell, still only 23 years old, hasn't lived up to the hype in his first 557 trips to the plate in the big leagues. With a 70 OPS+ and .224/.264/.373 slash line to his name, the shine has already started to wear off Adell, who ranked as a top 10 prospect in all of Major League Baseball prior to the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons, according to Baseball America.

As we know, the Angels are a franchise that seems to constantly underperform. Despite boasting Trout and Ohtani, the team finished 73-89 in 2022 - which resulted in the midseason firing of former Cubs manager Joe Maddon. In fact, Los Angeles hasn't even reached the postseason since 2014 - which was Trout's age-22 season.

I suspect Adell will get the opportunity to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster yet again this spring, but if the front office is ready to turn the page, the Cubs could make for an intriguing trade partner given their crop of young arms. As we know, the Angels have struggled in the pitching department for years, so it's feasible to think there could be a match somewhere in there.

Despite his former blue chip status, Adell hasn't shown any sustained signs of success with the Angels to this point. Still, he's young enough that there's no doubt teams (either the Angels or someone else) will give him a long leash to see if he can work through those struggles and become what many envisioned when he was the 10th overall pick back in 2017.

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Given the questions around Davis' back (and assuming Canario bounced back from his brutal freak injuries) and the uncertainty that comes with Happ and Bellinger (both in 2022 and beyond), the Cubs could bolster their outfield ranks with a trade for Adell before the team heads to Mesa in February.