Theo Epstein is heading into what is expected to be a busy offseason for the Chicago Cubs. After being handled easily by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, the Cubs know that they are a piece or two away from getting back to World Series contention. That is not somewhere that Epstein wants to stay very long.
Ever since coming to the Cubs, Epstein has vowed to make the Cubs a consistent championship contender. Chicago has been to three straight NLCS appearances and won the World Series to snap a 108-year curse last season.
Needless to say, the Cubs’ fan base could not be more excited about the future of the team. Unfortunately, that future could include the trade of some of the starters from the 2017 season.
Kyle Schwarber has been mentioned as a potential trade chip already, while other names have come up as well. One of those names that could surprise some people is starting shortstop Addison Russell.
Phil Rodgers of MLB.com said that the Cubs are looking to find more starting pitching this offseason. Epstein has already stated that he knows he will have to trade big league talent for big league talent. That could mean making Russell available in trade talks.
According to Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report, Russell could end up being one of the players dealt.
During the 2017 season with the Cubs, Russell ended up recording a.239 batting average to go along with 12 home runs and 43 RBI’s. He struggled with a nagging injury throughout a good chunk of the season, which was a big reason why his numbers were so low. Russell has been one of the main pieces for the Cubs over the past few years and has developed into one of the league’s top defensive shortstops.
Russell won’t be traded unless the Cubs can bring a star pitcher on board. Some of those options could reportedly include Chris Archer and Jeff Samardzija. They could also look to sign a pitcher in free agency, with Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and possibly even Alex Cobb being potential targets.
All of that being said, Russell is certainly going to be an intriguing name to keep an eye on this season. Chicago could end up making him available for the right price. If Epstein is willing to deal his star shortstop, there will be quite a few teams interested in making a deal for him.
Do you think the Chicago Cubs should consider trading Addison Russell this offseason? Who do you think they should be willing to trade for starting pitching? Let us know your thoughts!
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