Cubs need to be proactive and get a head start on trade deadline moves

With a crowded postseason picture, teams looking for relief arms on the trade market like the Chicago Cubs may need to be proactive to avoid being left on the sidelines.
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson
Chicago Cubs Introduce Dansby Swanson / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

With the first half of the year nearing an end, the Cubs are looking more and more like buyers than sellers - a dramatic turn of events from where things stood a few weeks ago. The club's most glaring needs are clear: a left-handed power bat and reinforcements in the bullpen.

In that second area, in particular, Chicago stands to face stiff competition - and the number of teams eyeing relief arms could be forced to move sooner than we've come to expect historically. Here's the latest from The Athletic's (subscription required) Ken Rosenthal in a trade rumors roundup from earlier this week:

"Teams in need of bullpen help already are eyeing the Nationals’ Kyle Finnegan, Hunter Harvey and Carl Edwards Jr., and Tigers’ Alex Lange, Will Vest and Jason Foley. Not the biggest of names obviously, but potential buyers harbor a growing fear that few quality players of any kind will be available.

Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

Cubs fans will recognize at least two of those names in Carl Edwards Jr. and Alex Lange, both of whom spent time with Chicago earlier in their careers, with the former playing a key role on the 2016 World Series-winning team. But the moral of the story here is suitors are plentiful and quality relief arms on the block are not.

Cubs may have to get creative, act early to land needed bullpen arms

We've seen speculation when it comes to the Cubs and another familiar face in Aroldis Chapman - only reinforcing the fact Chicago is focused on adding impactful arms to the mix. On Tuesday, the team signed veteran right-hander Shane Greene to a minor league deal - and we can hope he can rediscover the form that made him one of the league's best relievers from 2019 to 2020, but he's far from a sure thing.


Given how tight the NL Central and how unlikely a team pulling away in that division seems, Jed Hoyer could get a head start on his midseason shopping and help the team pick up some momentum heading into the second half coming out of the All-Star Break next weekend.