Could a Trade with the Chicago Cubs be Worth Pursuing for the Dodgers?

We’ve reached the early stages of the offseason when the is absolutely no news. Last week, the regular season awards were announced. Now, fans just sit and wait for any rumblings of trades or signings.

Dodger fans are not immune. While Los Angeles did just win the World Series, there is always room for improvement. Fans are also waiting to hear if any of their favorite free agent Dodgers would be re-signed.

It’s also the early part of the offseason when talking heads and fans alike start to throw out trade ideas to see if anything sticks. Monday, MLB.com once again linked the Dodgers as a trade partner to the Cleveland Indians, suggesting Los Angleles send RHP Dustin May, IF/OF Matt Beaty, and prospect OF Cody Thomas to Cleveland for SS Francisco Lindor.

Jose covered a possible Lindor trade in his article last week. Dennis has discussed it at times, too. While the enigmatic shortstop would be more than welcome on the team, he’s not a need. Some shuffling around also would be needed, as the Dodgers have NLCS and World Series MVP Corey Seager already at short.

The Cubs are said to be listening to any and all offers for any of their players this offseason. They have said this previously and not ever really made any big trades, but for the sake of this article, let’s imagine they will. The Cubs never quite made it back to where they were in 2016 when the won the World Series. They finished the 2020 season at 34-26, winners of the NL Central, but lost in the Wild Card round to the Marlins.

The Cubs are seemingly loaded with talent that didn’t produce last year under first-year manager David Ross. They also have quite a few players that are one year from arbitration, or have one year left on their contract.

One of those players that could be intriguing is third baseman Kris Bryant. While he had a sub par year in 2020, batting only .206 with a 0.3 WAR and four home runs, his 2019 campaign was good—he hit 31 home runs and 35 doubles with a .281/.382/.521/.901 slash line.

With one year left on his contract in his third year of arbitration, he is due $18.6M. Playing both third base and the outfield, he could share the load at the hot corner with Edwin Rios while the Dodgers bide their time waiting for prospect Kody Hoese.

Just for the fun of it, why not have a reunion with old friend Yu Darvish? The right hander just finished second in the NL Cy Young voting for this past season. He went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA with only five home runs and 14 walks allowed. He is owed $59M over the next three seasons.

Due to the fact that both of these players are owed a lot of money, Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman could get creative with a trade or talk the Cubs into paying a lot of those players’ salaries.

Justin Turner would be the cheaper option, as he is not expected to command his former salary of $16M a year. Darvish might not want a reunion with the team he almost won a World Series with, whom fans tried to use as a scapegoat. But fans now know that the 2017 championship was stolen from the Dodgers, and most would welcome him back with open arms. Imagine a rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, David Price, and Darvish.

I don’t see either of those trades happening, but it’s still a fun idea to think about while we wait for the Hot Stove to heat up.

11 thoughts on “Could a Trade with the Chicago Cubs be Worth Pursuing for the Dodgers?

  1. I am not sure the fans tried to use Darvish as a scapegoat. I think he earned what ever criticism he got with that god awful showing in the World Series. He can’t blame cheating on game 7 when he totally imploded and put the game out of reach. As for trading with the Cubs, I am not sure LA would really want Bryant at that amount of money when signing JT and using Rios as his swing man would save them probably close to 10 million. I also do not think AF wants to trade his prospects and block the kids coming up.

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  2. The guy I want from the Cubs is Hendricks. In my mind he’s easily one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball. He’s got 3 years left on his contract at a ridiculous $14MM/year. I would be willing to give up May or Gray or Gonsolin, Ruiz and another decent prospect or two for him, but the only way the Cubs move him is if they plan to do a total tear down and i don’t see that happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff, with Theo now out of the picture, I do not think Hoyer does a massive tear down. He might move a couple of vets, But he has to be careful not to irritate that fan base that still thinks the Cubs can win. Nats today signed Yasmany Tomas. Who quite literally was the worst free agent signing in Arizona history.

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      1. Cubs owners have shown a remarkable lack of ability or willingness to spend money lately. Now that Theo has left, this would be the ideal time to do a teardown and trade the high salary commitments for cheap prospects.

        Bite the bullet, know your fans won’t be happy but at least they have that one championship now. Hendricks and Darvish would probably both bring good returns. As chez says, Darvish would not bring as much as Hendricks but there are teams like the Yanks who would love to have pitching. Also the Angels. The Pads need more pitching now that Clevinger will be out and they have lots of prospects to deal. Blue Jays have prospects and need pitching.

        Bryant will almost definitely be traded. See what you can get for Rizzo and Baez. If the return is good do the trade. If not, those might be the two you re-sign.

        If I’m the Cubs, I do that teardown but only if I can bring in some very good young players

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  3. Not a lot to like on that roster when you consider the cost.

    OK, maybe Hendricks, Darvish or Baez, but at what cost. In my opinion, young CHEAP talent with multiple years of control is more valuable than ever in these uncertain times and no one knows that better than Friedman. I don’t see May, Gonsolin or even Gray going anywhere, especially to the Cubs for what they have. There is a reason Theo was shown the door.

    Fortunately, Dodgers are situated wonderfully in these uncertain times.

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  4. Great to see a number of new names here in the last couple of weeks. Boxout, you sound like a refugee from a hoops blog. 🙂

    It’s hard to argue with the viewpoint that we should keep our best prospects and just go after free agents, especially considering the general financial outlook of our front office as opposed to most of the others. And also considering that we have relatively few holes to fill.

    AF certainly deserved the Exec of the Year trophy he got today. We’re the champs and we’re pretty much set for years to come.

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    1. Yes, former diehard Lakers fan, currently lukewarm fan who has posted on some basketball blogs in the past.

      Hadn’t seen that Friedman got Exec of the Year. He deserved it.

      Going forward, I expect Friedman to mainly stick with what he’s been doing. Excellent drafting both domestic and internationally. “Small” seemingly insignificant trades that pay big dividends. Signing of cheap underappreciated free agents. All of this made possible by dragging the Dodgers organization into the 21st century, including assembling cutting edge scouting and player development departments.

      While I don’t see Friedman trading many of the “best prospects” for expensive established stars, he’ll do in the right situation. He paid a big price for Mookie in prospects, young talent (Verdugo, Downs, Wong) and dollars (Price and $365M). How they determined it was worth it in this situation is above my pay grade, but so far so good.

      Would he pay a big prospect price for 30 yr old Hendricks and his reasonable 3 yr $14M/yr contract, with an option on a fourth year? Is giving up a 23 yr old May (who I think has Buehler upside) with his 5 yrs of control and more prospects worth it. I don’t think so, but maybe Friedman would, but seems like Friedman highly values starting pitching depth more than anything (we’ve got at least 8 potential 2021 stud starters already). I’d rather see that minimum $42M commitment allocated to some shut down relievers.

      That’s my thoughts, I enjoy the debate.

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      1. Totally understand your perspective on my Hendricks for May trade and I’m sure most people would agree with you. I just have a soft spot in my heart for starters who do really well without throwing 100 mph, but I understand how much potential May has and, of course, he’s controllable for a lot of years.

        I can tell from your comments that you’re a knowledgeable fan. Hope you’ll become a regular here. This is a good place for tossing around ideas and opinions with no name calling.

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