All right, it sounds crazy at first because the Chicago Cubs definitely don’t have the prospects to make a deal with the New York Mets for starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. HOWEVER! This is another time the major-league depth really pays off for the Cubs off the field because there is no arguing they have one of the deepest, if not the deepest, roster in baseball.
We know by now that the Cubs are looking for pitching help, both in the rotation and the bullpen. Yu Darvish is going to be back in August(?) hopefully and well, Tyler Chatwood has been awful for a few months now and Mike Montgomery isn’t throwing six shutout innings every time out either.
This whole possible trade scenario of the Cubs maybe being in on deGrom popped off Wednesday, when 670 The Score’s Bruce Levine brought up the name of two young players on the roster, who could be used to make a huge splash by the trade deadline.
Those names were Addison Russell and Ian Happ.
Here’s what Levine wrote in his mailbag article.
Via 670 The Score.
Russell and Happ would both be in play right now for a pitcher like Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who’s under contract control through 2020. Any team looking to acquire deGrom now would be looking at having three playoff runs with him as a front-line starter.
And also this.
The Cubs should and will pursue pitching help, as general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed on 670 The Score on Wednesday morning.
Starters like deGrom will be on the Cubs’ radar with the health of Yu Darvish up in the air. Theo Epstein and Hoyer have a track record of being aggressive, and the Cubs’ window to win is right now. This time, the difference is that the Cubs will have to trade off their big league roster to make a big move.
I’ll start off by saying that I’d pass on trading Addison Russell for now and the only reason is because the Cubs have another player they could pair with Ian Happ in a trade for deGrom.
Almora, Happ, any 2-3 prospects. Can make a smaller trade like the rumored Dietrich stuff to help make up for the OF loss. Heyward probably becomes your regular CF. Keep Heyward there next year and sign Harper. https://t.co/PDYhzRO0L5
— Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) July 12, 2018
Remember how the other day I wrote this…
The trade rumors both centered around the Cubs having interest in veteran outfielders, which again with the current state of the roster and other needs present, pitching, make absolutely no sense…unless the reason they’re looking at guys like Derek Dietrich from the Miami Marlins is because they’re exploring a bigger deal for a starter…like deGrom?
As Matt Clapp alluded to in his tweet, the final piece to all of this has always been to go after Bryce Harper in the offseason. And as Aaron Kennelly put it, the expectation has always been to use one of the young players, like Ian Happ, to trade for pitching help.
Well, there’s really no better time than right now for Jacob 1.68 ERA deGrom.
Good piece by Brett.
This is something I haven't really thought very seriously about until now, but I'm getting talked on board I think. The "Bryce Plan" always was going to include something like trading Happ for pitching. Why not do that now and acquire Jacob Freaking deGrom? https://t.co/P8PfsdStZI
— Aaron Kennelly (@aaron_kennelly) July 12, 2018
deGrom still has two more years left of arbitration and let’s not kid ourselves, he’d be Game 1 starter for the Cubs in the playoffs if he was traded. This dude is awesome. Plus, the rotation would be unbelievable with, deGrom, Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish. I mean, you’re talking about having to leave one of those five out of the rotation in the postseason. Unreal.
As far as the Mets and why they’d be OK with the return, let’s take a look at the numbers.
Ian Happ is 23-years-old, can play all three outfield positions and has played at first, second and third base too. He’s still under team control for five more years after this season. In 194 games, remember still only 23-years-old, Happ has 34 home runs, a slash line of .253/.348/.487, and we’re talking about a guy who’s walked 44 times, five more than all of 2017, in 140 fewer at-bats this season.
Add in Albert Almora Jr., who Cubs fans are completely in love with and the Mets have two players both under the age of 25, under team control for at least four years, plus a few prospects and that package rivals anything any team can with a prospects-only trade offer.
Who knows, maybe the Mets really love one of the two, Russell or Happ, to headline a deal and if that was the case, I’d obviously still do it.
If it’s Almora and Happ plus prospects the Cubs still have Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Kris Bryant, maybe a trade for a veteran outfielder and then you have right field open for Bryce Harper in the offseason. In the offseason in which if this deGrom to Cubs fantasy comes true, features the best starting rotation in baseball. Talk about enticing for any top free agent.
Only the second week of July and I am all in on these wild trade rumors!