The addition of Jason Heyward has solidified the Cubs’ lineup top-to-bottom, more or less, and with his acquisition nearly complete, the Cubs are turning their focus to the trade market for starting pitchers, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi notes that the Cubs have had talks with the Padres about Tyson Ross and the Indians about both Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco.
The Cubs have plenty of prospect depth to dangle in trades, and the names of Jorge Soler and Javier Baez figure to be featured prominently in rumors as the team explores its options. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets, though, that the idea behind the Heyward signing is that he’ll play center field, with Kyle Schwarber manning left field and Soler playing right. That obviously doesn’t preclude a Soler trade, but it also indicates that the Cubs don’t necessarily feel the need to move Soler in order to open right field, as they did at second base when they traded Starlin Castro to the Yankees to clear a spot for Ben Zobrist.
Moving Soler in a trade would again create a hole in center field, although the free agent market has options such as Denard Span and familiar face Dexter Fowler (the latter of whom shares an agent with Heyward) that could be brought in to fill that role if need be.
Chicago’s rotation currently figures to include Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel, though one idea that we’ve kicked around in talking about trade scenarios here at MLBTR has been to include Hendricks as one of multiple pieces that could net the team an upgrade (that’s just speculation, of course). To this point in the offseason, the Cubs have been connected to the names mentioned by Morosi as well as the since-traded Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez and many other arms. Names like Sonny Gray and Chris Sale are popular speculative targets, but neither is likely to be moved this winter.