Chicago Cubs need to insert themselves in Arenado/Cardinals trade talk

Per reports, the Cardinals and Rockies have exchanged names in a Nolan Arenado trade, and the Chicago Cubs cannot afford to sit back and watch.

If you thought the last offseason was terrible, this offseason just said: “hold my beer.” The Chicago Cubs, to this point, have signed a handful of minor-league deals and traded for a 23-year old first baseman with nowhere to play. Things may get a whole lot worse as Jon Morosi, of MLB.com, is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies have exchanged names in a potential deal that would send Nolan Arenado to St. Louis.

Several media members believed that the Cardinals’ acquisition of left-handed starter Matthew Liberatore was part of a much larger trade, and it looks like that may come to fruition. It’s a brilliant move on the Cardinals’ part if that’s their intent with the former Tampa Bay Rays’ top prospect. Morosi has indicated that the Rockies are interested in Dakota Hudson and would likely ask for at least one of the Cardinals’ top four prospects. And the thought of Paul Goldschmidt and Arenado in the same lineup for the next several years is sickening, to say the least.

Interestingly, the Cubs don’t appear to be too keen on potentially interrupting trade talks with a possibly sweeter deal than what the Cardinals are offering. Now granted, whatever the Cubs would offer would likely clean out what is left of their farm system and/or potentially require them to part with, let’s say, a Willson Contreras or Jason Heyward to make the money work. A report surfaced last week, linking the Cubs to Arenado with the north siders having to part with Contreras and a highly-paid, underachiever (Heyward).

However, the Rockies appear to be asking for top pitching talent, which would likely require the Cubs to part with Brailyn Marquez, Ryan Jensen, and a couple of position players of their choosing from both the big league or minor league rosters. It’s incredible to me how frustrating this offseason has been, and a large part of that has been the Cubs having to wait on the results of Kris Bryant‘s grievance hearing. It is unlikely that he will win his case, which will delay his free agency until after the 2021 season and could spark a trade with a team needing to get over the hump.

Next: Chicago Cubs acquire Mark Grace-like first baseman in Alfonso Rivas

And if the Cubs genuinely are “punting” the 2020 season away when a substantial amount of payroll comes off the books next offseason, they may very well be watching their window of contention close as other teams in the division are getting significantly better in the Cincinnati Reds and now, potentially, the Cardinals.

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