Former Chicago Cubs prospect available through trade

With the Chicago Cubs having a need at third base, a former prospect has been made available by his current team this off-season.

Sep 27, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes (17) runs the
Sep 27, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes (17) runs the / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It should not be overlooked that the Chicago Cubs have a need at third base this off-season.

The need at third base was overlooked last off-season and the Cubs tried to get through the season with Nick Madrigal serving as the team's primary third baseman. While Madrigal certainly was better than expected as a fielder at third base last season, recording 10 outs above average, there are limitations to his offensive approach that are exposed if he is playing every day.

Madrigal slashed .263/.311/.352 last season but his wRC+ of 83 and -7.7 offensive value for runs above average highlight the reason why he can't be penciled in as a regular in the starting lineup.

While the Cubs have been linked to free agent third baseman Matt Chapman, it seems unlikely that the team would be willing to make a long-term commitment at the position considering the belief that 2023 first-round pick Matt Shaw may be on an accelerated ascension.

Trading for a third baseman may be the best course for the Cubs and one of their former prospects is potentially available via trade this off-season. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that Isaac Paredes may be available via trade this off-season.

Paredes was once in the Cubs' minor-league system before the team shipped him in a deal along with Jeimer Candelario to the Detroit Tigers in 2017. At the start of the 2022 season, the Tigers dealt Paredes to the Tampa Bay Rays for Austin Meadows.

On the surface, there is a lot to like about Paredes' offensive profile. The Cubs need power and Paredes is coming off a 2023 season where he hit 31 home runs. The issue, as our friends at Bleacher Nation point out, there are some serious concerns that a regression is coming considering there was a ton of luck involved with his offensive profile last season.

If the question is another season of Madrigal or Paredes, there is no question that the Cubs would prefer their former prospect handle the hot corner. The issue is Paredes shouldn't be viewed as the surefire answer at third base for the Cubs in the long-term and that would be fine if Shaw does indeed rise quickly.

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