Cubs ‘Desperately Need Power,’ Urged to Trade for $19 Million Slugger: Columnist

Jed Hoyer

Getty Chicago Cubs president Jed Hoyer could see a trade for Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as an answer to the team's offensive struggles

The Chicago Cubs are locked in a close divisional race with the rival Milwaukee Brewers and there seems to be at least one need on the roster that could give them a leg up if it’s improved: offensive power.

The Cubs rank toward the bottom of MLB in slugging percentage, total home runs and OPS, and president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer might opt to address that shortcoming via trade by acquiring Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. before the deadline.

“The Cubs desperately need power, and that should be the top area Hoyer will target around the deadline,” MLB columnist Deesha Thosar wrote for Fox Sports. “The Blue Jays are settling into last place in a loaded AL East and the longer their discomposure carries on, the more it looks like they should trade away Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and begin retooling for next year. Guerrero could find his MVP-caliber form with a change of scenery in Chicago.”

The Chicago Cubs Could Make Vladimir Guerrero Jr. the Everyday DH

Guerrero Jr. has emerged as a compelling trade candidate as the Blue Jays have disappointed to start the season. In six big-league seasons, the 25-year-old slugger has a career .279/.346/.484 slash line with three All-Star appearances, a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award. But this season there has not been as much pop in his bat, marked by a .404 slugging percentage and just five homers so far.

He is playing on a one-year, $19.9 million contract with another year of arbitration ahead, so there is no real urgency to deal him from a free agency perspective. But if the Blue Jays decide to rebuild around a new core of players, they could get a significant return from Guerrero Jr. before making a long-term commitment.

“Guerrero will be a free agent after the 2025 season and the Blue Jays have yet to sign him to a long-term deal,” Jim Bowden noted for The Athletic. “They’d get a much better return in a trade now than they would in the offseason or in the leadup to next year’s trade deadline; therefore, they’ll need to seriously consider dealing him this July if they fall out of the race.”

If the Cubs feel like Guerrero Jr. can return to his power-hitting ways and are compelled to add him in a trade, he could become the team’s everyday designated hitter while Michael Busch retains the first baseman role. The Cubs have gone with a rotation of designated hitters, including Christopher Morel, who can play third base; Patrick Wisdom, who can play in the outfield; and Ian Happ, who can also play in the outfield. 

“The Cubs absolutely have the prospect Base to go after Guerrero, and he would stabilize the revolving door they’ve had at the DH spot,” Zachary Rymer noted for Bleacher Report.

The Chicago Cubs Might Opt to Trade for a Reliever Rather Than Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

But there are still some open questions about a potential blockbuster deal to bring Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to Chicago. Though’s Mark Feinsand confirmed that the Blue Jays have been shopping their young slugger, an anonymous executive told him that the going asking price is “ridiculous.” 

Hoyer might be unwilling to meet that price, or might prefer to flip the team’s prospects to address other concerns, like the bullpen.

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