This slow-starting team could be a perfect trade partner for the Cubs

Despite making a postseason appearance last season and boasting the reigning NL Manager of the Year, the Miami Marlins are off to a horrendous start in 2024.
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The National League East has the distinction of boasting not one, but two winless teams heading into action on Thursday in the New York Mets and Miami Marlins. Obviously, those two teams are on opposite ends of the payroll spectrum, but the on-field results are the same. Given the financial constraints facing the latter, an 0-7 start could quickly put the Marlins on the path to being sellers.

According to a new report in The Athletic from Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin (subscription required), it 'is not too early' to envision Miami jettisoning anything of value under new general manager Peter Bendix. That could wind up being especially relevant for a team like the Chicago Cubs, who were connected to Miami in trade rumors at various points in the offseason.

Cubs and Marlins make a ton of sense in a potential trade - especially when it comes to Miami's young pitchers

It's too soon for Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins to panic, but the early season loss of Justin Steele, who isn't expected to pitch until early May at the earliest certainly has the fanbase on edge, with some looking for external reinforcements. Should those concerns persist past the next month, the Marlins' crop of young arms could look especially enticing.

Rosenthal and Lin single out left-hander Jesus Luzardo and two-time batting champ Luis Arraez as high-profile players who could be on the move, along with the likes of Josh Bell, Avisail Garcia, Jazz Chisolm Jr. and even Sandy Alcantara, who will miss the 2024 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

The fit between the Cubs and Bell, Garcia or Chisolm seems tenuous, at best, but Luzardo and Alcantara could both be major upgrades to the starting rotation. Luzardo, in particular, is under team control through 2026 and would come at a significant cost in terms of prospects. But make no mistake, Bendix is ready to make his mark and major moves could be coming in South Beach sooner rather than later.