We are two weeks away from the Trade Deadline, by which time we’d normally have some really specific threads to be following. But in a year where trades are going to be rare, limited, and last-minute, there are only the broad strokes to discuss.
“We’ve had some conversations, for sure,” David Ross said of the Cubs front office and the possibility of trades, per The Athletic. “They’ve got a pretty good eye for this group and that (part of) a season. I leave that up to them.”
Ross, like Joe Maddon before him, won’t be the primary decider on any moves the Cubs do or do not make, but as the manager, his is a very important voice in the process. The front office needs to know how he’s perceiving the clubhouse, how he’s seeing certain units, how he expects the next X stretch of time to go, and on and on. And that’s before you even get into what Ross might think of a certain outside addition.
“We have conversations daily about some areas that maybe we can improve,” Ross continued. “But I have a lot of confidence in our guys, so I don’t put a whole lot of stock in that. I let them use their expertise and their experience. If they have something, they’ll bring it to me.”
It’s not hard to speculate that the Cubs will be eyeing relievers should there be any cheap, short-term, buy options. A quality veteran on an expiring contract? The Cubs will look. I have my doubts that they can take on much in the way of salary, and I also have strong doubts they would seek to acquire anyone who’d cost a really notable prospect at this point.
But if there’s one area we know could have a significant impact in a postseason series, it’s the bullpen. Maybe you set up a deal where you agree to acquire a nice arm for a conditional PTBNL – if the season reaches its conclusion, then your trade partner gets a prospect from List A, but if the season does not complete, the trade partner gets only a prospect from List B or cash.
Otherwise, the Cubs might look to add a righty bat to improve the lineup against lefties (a quality defensive outfielder like Kevin Pillar, to whom the Cubs have been connected in the past, could make some sense).