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Six players the Cubs should look to trade away & positions to target in potential deals

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Just because they aren’t obvious contenders right now doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of Cubs trade rumors in 2023 with the deadline fast approaching. Chicago has a lot of candidates to be dealt at the deadline, as several players on the roster could be useful to teams in contention.

At the same time, the Cubs are hoping to reload quickly and be more competitive in 2024, which is why we’re seeing a lot of Cubs trade rumors in 2023, even if it involves the team selling off pieces rather than acquiring new ones.

Cubs trade rumors and plans in 2023

So what are the latest Cubs news and rumors saying and what are the Cubs trade deadline targets as far as rebuilding for next season?

There are a lot of ways the Cubs could play this, so that’s not an easy question to answer. Nevertheless, let’s use some of the latest Cubs trade rumors in 2023 to look at the players who could be traded away and what the Cubs might try to bring back in deadline deals.

Marcus Stroman

It doesn’t look like the Cubs will be signing Marcus Stroman to a contract extension, meaning that he’s likely to be traded this summer. The good news for Chicago is that Stroman is arguably the best starting pitcher on the market, so the Cubs should be able to get a lot back for him.


Any team that’s serious about winning a championship in 2023 should be in contact with the Cubs regarding Stroman. That could lead to a bidding war that could help the Cubs acquire two or three big-time prospects.

Cody Bellinger

Chicago deserves some credit for giving Cody Bellinger a chance with a one-year contract after a disastrous end to his tenure with the Dodgers. He’s probably come close to earning his $17.5 million salary.

But he’s also given the Cubs a nice trade chip to use at the deadline. Even as a rental player, Bellinger will be worth something. After all, he’s a former MVP with postseason experience who brings power and defensive flexibility. There aren’t too many players like that on the trade market this year.

Michael Fulmer

It hasn’t been an ideal season for Michael Fulmer, who did not register a win during the first half of the season. But after a dreadful April and May, he was lights out in June and continued to pitch well in early July before the all-star break.

In the past, Fulmer has been a top-flight reliever, which should be enough for a contending team to take a chance on him, allowing the Cubs to get something back in a trade.


Kyle Hendricks

It will surely be hard for the Cubs to say goodbye to Kyle Hendricks. He’s meant a lot to the Wrigley Faithful dating back to the team’s world championship. But if the Cubs aren’t going to pick up his $16 million option for next season, they might as well trade him.

Despite not making his season debut until late May, he’s pitched well and hasn’t shown too many signs of aging. Of course, that could make the Cubs think that Hendricks can be an asset in their 2024 rotation. However, if Chicago receives an offer it can’t refuse from a team in need of a starter, the Cubs may have little choice but to trade Hendricks.

Yan Gomes

Yan Gomes is the perfect example of a catcher who will be in demand at the trade deadline. He’s a veteran behind the plate who can manage a pitching staff and helped the Nationals win the World Series in 2019. Gomes is also having a solid season offensively, which doesn’t hurt his value either, especially with a limited number of catchers on the trade market.

The question is: Do the Cubs want to pick up a $6 million option for next season on a 36-year-old catcher? If the answer is no, the Cubs will surely look to trade Gomes at the deadline.

Drew Smyly

Much like Hendricks, Drew Smyly isn’t someone the Cubs have to trade. He’s under contract for next season and has a mutual option in 2025. But the 34-year-old could have more value for someone else than he does for the Cubs right now.

There aren’t a lot of great left-handed starters on the trade market this summer, which means Smyly could garner some interest. If that happens, the Cubs would be fools not to listen.

Young pitching

When it comes to the Cubs trade deadline targets, the answer is simple: young pitching. If the Cubs are going to compete in 2024, they need to add young arms that are close to ready for the big leagues and will be able to contribute sooner rather than later.

Outside of Ben Brown and Jordan Wicks, most of Chicago’s top prospects are either position players or more than a year away from the majors. Keep in mind that Stroman, Hendricks, Fulmer, and Smyly may not be with the team next season, so there is a clear need to add pitching, which is what Chicago’s focus should be as they make trades. In other news, if any team wants to trade with the Cubs, they better have major-league-ready arms they’re willing to deal.

Young catcher

In addition to seeking young pitching, the Cubs need to be on the lookout for a catcher. Granted, that’s not always easy to find, but the Cubs need to try nonetheless. Even if Gomes isn’t traded, he’s not the long-term solution, nor is Tucker Barnhart. While rookie Miguel Amaya is only 24, the jury is still out on him as an everyday catcher, especially given some of the injuries he’s already battled in his career, including Tommy John surgery.

If the Cubs end up making a trade involving Stroman or Hendricks, they could push to get a young catcher in return on top of adding some arms for the future.

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