The Chicago Cubs have gotten off to a 24-6 start this season and are looking like a very special team. It has been quite some time since they were considered to be a World Series favorite, but this could very well be the year that they break the curse. There is a long way to go for that to happen, but they have the talent to do so.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the trade rumors are strong for the Cubs. One name that is mentioned as a potential trade target for the Cubs is Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun.
Braun would be an intriguing pickup for the Cubs to say the least. He has been a Cub killer in the past and making that big of a trade within the division would be aggressive. Acquiring Braun could also be exactly the kind of piece that the Cubs need to put their offense over the top.
Throughout the course of the season thus far, Braun has recorded a 0.367 batting average to go along with seven home runs and 24 RBI’s. That is the stat line of a player that could be of major help to the Cubs.
For full context, here is my video from yesterday talking about Braun, etc. Again, Braun's trade list has changed. https://t.co/byvVegfbNi— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 1, 2016
At 32-years-old, Braun still has plenty of good baseball left to play in his career. Chicago would be getting the rest of Braun’s deal that runs through the 2021 season. He may not be a capable star throughout the rest of his contract, but for the next three or four years, he could be exactly the kind of bat that the Cubs need.
What would it take for the Cubs to acquire a piece like Braun ahead of the MLB trade deadline?
There is no telling what the Brewers would ask for in return for Braun. One thing is for sure, the Brewers will make it difficult for the Cubs to acquire him if they are interested at all. Braun has been the face of the Brewers’ franchise for quite some time now and trading him within the division to a rival would be very tough for Milwaukee to do.
Chicago is likely going to be searching for one more outfielder ahead of the deadline. Kyle Schwarber went down for the season with a torn ACL, which leaves the Cubs with a need at the position for a bigger bat.
One hitch that could make a trade with the Cubs difficult is that Braun has a no-trade clause. He may be willing to waive it for a chance to compete for a championship, but that isn’t a sure thing.
Looking at the Cubs’ farm system, there are a few players that could make sense for the Brewers to target in a potential trade. Ian Happ, Wilson Contreras, and Gleybar Torres could all be of interest. Milwaukee needs help at a lot of different positions and the Cubs have a surplus of young talent.
That being said, it will be interesting to see which player some up in rumors surrounding the Cubs as the deadline draws closer.
Outside of Braun, there are a few other outfield options that could make sense. Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce, Nick Markakis and Josh Reddick could all be trade targets as well. Braun is obviously the biggest name out of all of them, but a piece like Gonzalez or Bruce would have a similar impact.
Expect to see the Cubs make a deal or two ahead of the deadline, and don’t be surprised to keep hearing Braun’s name come up in connection with them.
Do you think the Chicago Cubs should try to trade for Ryan Braun? Would Braun make the Cubs even more dangerous World Series contenders? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar]