Sunday, May 19, 2024

Interesting Cubs Prospect Named Their Top Trade Candidate


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One thing Chicago Cubs Manager Craig Counsell repeatedly said in spring training is that the team that starts the 2024 season is unlikely to be the same team that ends it. The team is going to ebb and flow its way to the end. 26 players started on the roster for the Cubs. By the end of the year, possibly closer to 45-50 players will suit up.

We have already seen this statement ring true within the first month of the regular season. Sixteen pitchers have now seen game time with the Cubs, and that number is only going to grow. Jameson Taillon began the year on the injured list after tweaking his back. Justin Steele promptly followed him after pulling a hamstring in the first game. The struggles in the bullpen have caused multiple call-ups and send-downs already.

Injury is part of the game, and that is even more apparent now. Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki was having a stellar season before making his way to the injured list after injuring his oblique. Prospect Alexander Canario received the call to take his spot on the roster. He will by no means be the only position player to make the move from the minor leagues to Chicago. So far, he’s just the first.

Canario seemingly leapfrogged the Cubs’ top prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong, to be called up to Chicago. That being said, his call-up in 2023 went much better than PCA’s did. At first, the intentions of this looked like a matchup thing. But a new ESPN+ article is bringing the Cubs’ intentions on the move into question.

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Alexander Canario Named As Cubs’ Top Trade Candidate

David Schoenfield of ESPN wrote an article (subscription required) that revealed each MLB team’s top trade candidate, should they make a move. For the Cubs, he named Alexander Canario. Schoenfield says that due to the Cubs having the second-best rated farm system in the league, they have options galore. However, they have a lot of options, including Pete Crow-Armstrong, that would be considered untouchable. Canario is not one of them, and his big league experience from 2023 proved the moment is not too big for him.

In the Cubs’ upcoming four-game series against the Miami Marlins, they are projected to face three left-handed starting pitchers. Due to this, choosing the right-handed bat of Canario over the left-handed bat of PCA made all of the sense in the world. However, after reading this piece on the Cubs possibly having Canario on the block, my thoughts have wandered.

What if this call-up is more of a showcase rather than strategy? If Canario takes advantage and plays well during his call-up, his trade value will certainly increase. The Cubs will definitely be on the market looking to improve the team and make a strong playoff run, and Canario is seemingly log-jammed as an outfield prospect in the Cubs system. He could be a perfect candidate to bring the Cubs a return they need to make a strong run in 2024.

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