Chicago Cubs: 3 cheap trade targets to add pitching depth

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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J.A. Happ Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs need more depth in their starting rotation. With the MLB non-waiver trade deadline less than a week away, the Cubs could bolster their rotation and add depth without moving MLB-ready talent.

The Chicago Cubs are looking to make a splash at the trade deadline to cement themselves as the best team in the National League.

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One of the most pressing areas for the Cubs to improve is their starting pitching depth. Outside of Jon Lester, the rotation has had its struggles. Jose Quintana and Kyle Hendricks have been inconsistent.

Tyler Chatwood has the highest walk percentage of any starting pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched. Mike Montgomery has pitched well as a starter but is more valuable as a versatile reliever.

With Yu Darvish and Drew Smyly working their way back from injuries, the Cubs may already have the answer to their lack of rotation depth, but Darvish or Smyly returning and quickly getting back to form for meaningful games down the stretch is far from a sure thing.

Rumors have swirled that the Cubs are interested in high-profile starters like Jacob deGrom and Chris Archer. Regardless of the validity of those rumors, the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays would be expecting a massive haul of players back, certainly including at least one of Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, or Albert Almora Jr.

Giving up any of those four players would be tough to stomach for both the Cubs’ front office and fans alike. All four have endeared themselves to the team and shown flashes of brilliance with their play on the field.

If the Cubs want to keep their young core intact, they’ll have to shift focus from the elite starters to some that are a little more affordable. These three starters are likely on the move and won’t cost the Cubs an arm and a leg to acquire.