Cubs Trade Proposal Adds Much-Needed ‘Big Bat’ & 2 Pitchers

Cubs potential trade target Ryan McMahon

Getty Cubs potential trade target Ryan McMahon

Coming into the 2024 MLB season, one of the obvious issues the Cubs had was third base. The team had Nick Madrigal on hand, a good defensive third baseman who is not much of a hitter, as well as 25-year-old hitter Christopher Morel, whose bat was supposed to outweigh the fact that he was learning how to play third on the fly.

Well, two-and-a-half months into the year, and Morel has struggled mightily to hit—he is batting .203 this year—and Madrigal had a rough start with both the glove and the bat, which nudged the Cubs to drop him down to Triple A Iowa. Madrigal then broke his hand last week.

Third base, then, remains an issue. But so does the offense as a whole. The Cubs are hitting .229 as a team, 26th in MLB, and have scored 228 runs, which is 14th. Also of concern is a troublesome bullpen (4.33 ERA, 22nd in the league) and the lack of depth in the starting rotation.

With the trade deadline looming next month and the Cubs 6.5 games behind the Brewers in the N.L. Central, there are holes to fill. And Bleacher Report podcaster Borna Nazari has a way for the Cubs to solve all their problems with one swap: pluck third baseman Ryan McMahon as well starter Austin Gomber and reliever Jalen Beeks from the Rockies.

Ryan McMahon Could Fill 3B Hole

All three Colorado players have had good starts this year. McMahon is hitting .263 with 10 homers and 34 RBI this year, and would be an immediate upgrade at third. Gomber has been surprisingly solid, going 1-3 in 12 starts with a 3.38 ERA. Beeks has a 4.08 ERA in 28 games this season.

As Nazari said at Bleacher Report: “We know that the Chicago Cubs have said that they need a fricking big bat. They need a big bat. Well, I’ll tell you this, Ryan McMahon is a big bat. I could see his fit with the Chicago Cubs. He’s been the subject of trade rumors for a while. I think the Cubs need a nice, lefthanded bat, and I think what the Cubs can also do is the Cubs could get a low-end starter in a trade for a Ryan McMahon.

“Let me tell you somebody who is overperforming the frick this year, who hasn’t been good in years past, let’s stay in Chicago—why not an Austin Gomber-Ryan McMahon trade? Austin Gomber has been really good this year for the Colorado Rockies.

“You package him with Jalen Beeks and maybe Ryan McMahon, and the Cubs have all their checkmarks ticked, in the bullpen, in the rotation and with a big-time lefthanded bat.”

Cubs Need a Major Trade to Get Season on Track

The Cubs are in position to get something done at the deadline, with clear glaring holes that need to be filled, and with a depth of talent in the farm system to entice a deal. McMahon could be a long-term answer at third base, given that he is under contract for the next four seasons, at $56 million total.

The Cubs’ No. 2 overall prospect, Matt Shaw, has been playing third base at Double A, but could bounce to another infield spot if the team invests in McMahon.

As for getting a deal with the Rockies, the Cubs have a stockpile of prospects to offer. Heading into the season, Bleacher Report ranked the Cubs the No. 1 farm system in baseball, and ranked them No. 2.

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