Cubs Rumors: White Sox interested in a Nick Madrigal trade?

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs / Matt Dirksen/GettyImages

Not even two years have passed since the Cubs traded Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox in exchange for former first-rounder Nick Madrigal and right-hander Codi Heuer. Yet, on both sides of the city, the deal has been endlessly questioned and even labeled a failure, by some.

Heuer showed flashes of brilliance with the Cubs before needing Tommy John surgery. So, to be fair, the Wrigley faithful really haven't seen much of him since he joined the club. He's expected to return early this summer and could be a major midseason bullpen addition for David Ross.

Injuries have taken their toll on Madrigal, as well, who appeared in just 59 games for Chicago in 2022 and struggled to a .588 OPS - well below the big league average of .706. Now, with Dansby Swanson locked up for the next seven years and Nico Hoerner sliding over to second, Madrigal is the odd man out.

According to some speculation from Bob Nightengale at USA Today, his former team could look to bring him back into the fold via trade to address their hole at second base.

"The White Sox, who picked second baseman Nick Madrigal in the first round of the 2018 draft and traded him to the Cubs in 2021 for veteran closer Craig Kimbrel, now have a chance to get him back. The Cubs no longer have room for Madrigal in the starting lineup after signing shortstop Dansby Swanson and shifting Nico Hoerner to second base, and guess who desperately needs a second baseman? Yep, the White Sox. "

Bob Nightengale, USA Today

The fit on the South Side is evident. Their lineup has a gaping hole at second base (they're projected to tap one of Romy Gonzalez, Lenyn Sosa  and Leury Garcia - all of whom have pretty glaring faults/questions associated with them). The bigger question comes from the Cubs' side of the equation: are they ready to give up on a guy who's just 25 years old with a pretty lengthy track record of success?

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It's hard to envision a scenario where the Cubs land anything of value in a Madrigal trade right now given the injuries and lack of production we saw last year. They're better served holding onto him and either A) letting him be that first guy off the bench/one you turn to when you need a clutch knock off the bench or B) at least letting him try to recoup some value before moving him in-season. Now's not the time to sell, because his stock's never been lower.