MLB Experts puts odds on Chicago Cubs trade targets

A national expert placed the odds on the likes of Pete Alonso and Juan Soto being traded this off-season and what it means for the Chicago Cubs.

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

In a piece just yesterday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post weighed in on what he thinks is the likelihood of certain superstars getting traded this winter. Heyman has Pete Alonso from the New York Mets at just 5%, which is interesting given that Alonso just recently hired Scott Boras as his agent, signifying that he could be ready to head to free agency next winter, as so many Boras clients do.

It's easy for me to disagree, given that if Alonso isn't extended, it makes more sense to move on, given the Mets' lackluster farm and the value that Alonso holds going into his final year. Nevertheless, Tyler Glasnow (70% chance) and Juan Soto (65% chance) are two other names to discuss on this list.

Glasnow, for apparent reasons, will most likely be moved. Earning $25MM in the final year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, the small-market Rays likely will move Glasnow as a way to cut payroll. However, I think the Cubs need to steer clear here, as Glasnow's injury concerns aren't even "concerning" but a giant red flag. You're lucky to get more than 120 innings out of him.

The biggest eye-opener from Heyman's piece is that he believes Juan Soto is most likely on the move. Is this the move where the Cubs need to be all-in? They have the farm and "have" money to trade for and extend him. However, an extension is purely speculation. Like Alonso, the only worry is that he is a Boras client, and I don't foresee Soto inking an extension. Let's not forget this is the same guy who turned down $440MM from the Washington Nationals last year. With another good year in 2023, at age 26, the contract he will receive going into 2025 will most likely be record-breaking for a position player.

Offensively, Soto has proven to be a generational talent. In 2023, he slashed .275/.410/.519, hit 35 HRs, drove in 109, and it also marked his 5th season in which he recorded an OPS north of .900. He has earned three All-Star nods and three Silver Sluggers.

Defensively, where the Cubs might balk is that Soto's defense in the outfield is sub-par at best; he recorded -9 Outs Above Average and -8 Runs Prevented this year. If the Cubs land him via trade, they're essentially trading for a DH only, given that it won't be often he sees time in the field with Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki, who are both noticeably better defensively. Though his offensive ability is juggernaut-status, it's hard to see Jed Hoyer getting over the defensive situation with how much emphasis he has put on elite defense recently.

Still, the Cubs have had 2024 on their radar as the year they think they'll be ready for serious contention. If the team wants to win in 2024, the last thing they should be worried about is defense in left field every few games. If there's any chance you can land Soto in a trade, the Cubs need to do it and not look back, even if it is just for 2024. Soto's bat in the lineup is the piece they are missing offensively, especially if Cody Bellinger does not return to the Cubs in free agency.

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