Monday, May 6, 2024

Trade Whispers Getting Louder Between Cubs and Marlins

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Forget about July, the rumor mill is in full go in the first week of May and the trade whispers between the Cubs and Marlins are only getting louder. The Marlins are already waiving the white flag and they started their fire sale last week, trading their All-Star infielder Luis Arráez to the San Diego Padres. Now, According to David Kaplan, the Cubs and Marlins could be working on something down the line.

As always, you can take these type of rumors with a grain of salt and although Kaplan has a mixed track record with Cubs rumors, this scenario certainly is reasonable to believe. During his REKAP YouTube video on Sunday, Kaplan shared some inside info about a potential trade in the future for the Cubs.

“It’s incumbent on Jed Hoyer to make a move, and go get some bullpen help. And I’m hearing from a little birdie, who’s got his nose to the ground and his ears always listening, the Cubs and Marlins COULD – could – be working on a deal for a reliever.”

Again, kind of a no-brainer to think of this possibility, but I guess it’s good to see it from a guy who does have sources around the league.

Cubs fans know the deal here. This team is good, the roster is getting healthier by the day, but the bullpen and more specifically the closer is a major concern. Adbert Alzolay blew four saves before he was ousted from the closer role and his recent blow up against the Milwaukee Brewers didn’t inspire any confidence that he can return to form any time soon.

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Meanwhile, Hector Neris has taken over as the closer and although he’s converted on six straight save chances, he’s been one of the luckiest relievers in baseball. I mean, you’ll obviously take the results, but there’s no way Craig Counsell feels comfortable with Neris protecting a lead in the ninth right now. Neris has pitched 13 innings and has walked 12 batters, allowed 10 hits, resulting in a 1.69 WHIP. And sure, some relievers have a high BB rate, but you take it because they have great strikeout numbers. Well, Neris only has a 20.3 K%, which ranks 141st among 204 qualified relievers so far in 2024.

Julian Merryweather, who was fantastic in 2023 and probably would have been given a shot after Alzolay’s struggles this season, is currently on the 60-day injured list. So, at the earliest Merryweather could return in late June and even then you still have to see how he returns from his shoulder strain.

There’s no ideal internal candidate to step in and be the closer right now. I’m all for giving Ben Brown a shot, but I have no clue if he can handle pitching 3-5 times in any given week out of the bullpen after spending most of his pro career as a starter. Can Daniel Palencia throw enough strikes to become an option?

Just too many questions marks, which makes Tanner Scott a perfect trade candidate for the Cubs and hopefully that’s the guy who is being discussed in trade talks.

You can read more about Scott and why he’d fit in perfectly on the 2024 Cubs here.

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