The Chicago Cubs are entering the 2016 MLB trade deadline with a few positions of need. Looking at their hot start, there is no necessity to make any big moves. While that may be the case, the Cubs will still be looking for a piece or two to put them over the top.
Joe Maddon and the Cubs are World Series favorites for the first time in a long time, but the season is just getting started. What the Cubs have shown thus far is fantastic, but it is far from being proof that they will break the curse. It will be an intriguing rumor mill to keep an eye on where the Cubs are concerned, but there is already a list of players beginning to form that they could be interested in.
There is no question that Theo Epstein is one of the top minds in any MLB front office. He has completely rebuilt the Cubs from a struggling team to a potential powerhouse. Epstein has been fairly aggressive throughout his career, and he will do whatever it takes to bring a championship to the Cubs.
All of that being said, which five players could be potential targets ahead of the 2016 MLB trade deadline?
Ryan Braun, Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
Perhaps the most obvious and rumored name at this point in the year is Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun. As we previously reported here at the Inquisitr, the Cubs view Braun as a potential trade target to help replace the bat that was lost when Kyle Schwarber went down with a torn ACL. He would be a very nice pickup for the Cubs and would make the offense even more dangerous.
Aroldis Chapman, Relief Pitcher, New York Yankees
One of the weaknesses that the Cubs currently have is in the bullpen. They need a much better lefty relief pitcher, and Aroldis Chapman could fit that bill. New York is struggling to say the very least, which could make them consider trading Chapman at the right price.
Carlos Gonzalez, Outfielder, Colorado Rockies
Adding another outfielder into the mix, Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez could be of interest to the Cubs. He would add even more pop to an already powerful Cubs lineup. Depending on what the price tag is on Gonzalez, the Cubs could very well be aggressive in their pursuit of the star outfielder.
Matt Moore, Starting Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago could very well look to add another starting pitcher to their rotation ahead of the deadline. Matt Moore has been struggling a bit this season for the Rays with a 1-3 record and 4.83 ERA, but he could very well interest the Cubs. He is just 26-years-old and has plenty of baseball left to play and could slide into the rotation behind Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.
Sonny Gray, Starting Pitcher, Oakland Athletics
If the Cubs do decide they want to upgrade their starting pitching, another potential name could be Oakland’s Sonny Gray. He has posted a 3-4 record and 6.00 ERA this season, which has lowered his value to the point that Chicago could swoop in and bring him in. Gray is also 26-years-old and the Cubs would likely be interested in the control that his contract comes with.
Expect to see the Cubs work the phone lines as the deadline continues drawing closer. The deadline is on August 1st this season, which gives Chicago plenty of time to figure out what they want.
Do you think that the Chicago Cubs should target one of these five players ahead of the 2016 MLB trade deadline? Is there a player you think the Cubs should target that isn’t listed? Let us know in the comment box below!
[Photo by Kathy Willens/AP Images]