Sunday, May 19, 2024

RUMOR: Cubs and Marlins in Trade Talks

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Listen, did we expect to be writing about Chicago Cubs rumors from a St. Louis Cardinals fan account? No. But also, we didn’t expect to be less than two weeks away from the start of spring training with 4 of the top 10 free agents still unsigned. As always, take this was a grain of salt, but what the hell, who are you kidding, you love rumors no matter where they come from.

So, according to the Cardinals Live account on Twitter, the Cubs are in trade talks with the Miami Marlins. This was posted on “The Live Cave” a Community dedicated to the Cardinals on Twitter.

Now, normally I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing about a random post from someone I’ve never even really heard of before, but apparently this account has actually had some info that it has been right about.

On Thursday night, Cardinals Live posted about St. Louis nearing a deal for a free agent reliever.

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And hey, will you look at that, a few hours later Robert Murray first reported that the Cardinals had an agreement with right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton.

So, there’s a bit of credibility here.

Again, I’m not completely convinced, but we’re talking rumors here. This is what fans do. Let’s speculate.

The biggest possible name that the Cubs could be interested in is left-handed starting pitcher Jesús Luzardo. The lefty avoided arbitration with the Marlins back in January, agreeing to a $5.5 million salary for the 2024 season. The 26-year-old is still under team control through the 2026 season.

In 2023, Luzardo started 32 games with the Marlins and posted a 3.58 ERA in 178.2 innings. The hard-throwing left-hander, who averages nearly 97mph on his fastball, struck out 28.1% of the batters he faced and limited his walks to less than three per nine innings.

Luzardo made his MLB debut in 2019 with the Oakland A’s, but following an average 2020 campaign and a dreadful start to the 2021 season, he was traded to the Marlins. It took some time for Luzardo to put things together on the mound, but during the past two seasons he’s shown why he was once considered one of the top prospects in baseball. The lefty has recorded a 3.48 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 50 starts since the beginning of the 2022 season.

I’m dreaming here, but if Luzardo is the main Cubs target in these supposed trade talks, then you would expect the return to the Marlins to include a pretty good bat and one of your favorite prospects. Most likely need one of the young Cubs starting pitchers involved too. Don’t worry, the Cubs aren’t trading Cade Horton, not him.

Meanwhile, the Cubs remain interested in adding to their bullpen and the Marlins have 29-year-old reliever Tanner Scott, who would drastically improve the Cubs bullpen. Scott will be a free agent following the 2024 season, after agreeing to a salary just shy of $3 million in the final year of being arbitration eligible.

Scott was an excellent reliever in 2023, ending the season with a 2.31 ERA in 78 innings. He averaged nearly 13 strikeouts per nine innings and only allowed three home runs in his 74 appearances, as he saved 12 games and had 24 holds.

There is also right-handed starter Edward Cabrera, who has a 4.01 ERA in 43 career MLB outings that include 41 starts. In 2023, Cabrera had a 4.24 ERA in 99.2 innings, striking out 118 batters in 20 starts and two relief appearances. The 25-year-old certainly has a gifted throwing arm, but still has not been able to harness his control throughout his young career. Cabrera has averaged above 5 walks per nine innings during his time with the Marlins since making his MLB debut in the 2021 season.

I’ll end on this note that Bleacher Nation’s Michael Cerami shared.

MLB teams talk all the time. Sometimes it’s simply one side “checking in” or “kicking the tires” on player(s). Sometimes there are more serious discussions and most of the time those discussions never amount to a deal being done.

But there’s no harm in trying to figure out who and what a potential trade could look like. It’s sports. This should be something fun to talk about.

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