MLB insider predicts Chicago Cubs may trade for this All-Star hitter to improve lineup

Chicago Cubs rumors
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs got off to a very promising start in 2024, looking like a contender in the National League that would be in the playoff mix all season long. Since May, the Cubs have been one of the worst teams in baseball.

Chicago’s bullpen and its lineup are the biggest problems right now. Fortunately, there will be no shortage of relievers available at the MLB trade deadline. However, adding to the batting order gets a little more complicated amid questions about just how many sellers there will be this summer.

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  • Chicago Cubs lineup stats (ESPN): 297 runs scored (19th in MLB), .227 batting average (26th), .309 OBP (16th), .367 slugging (24th)

On the surface, the stats from the Cubs lineup entering MLB games today aren’t one of the worst in baseball. However, the numbers look much worse over a more recent sample size. From May 1 – June 15, per FanGraphs, the Cubs lineup ranked 25th in OPS (.654) with a .219/.303/.351 slash line and the third-fewest runs scored (148) over 41 games.

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Fortunately for Chicago, the MLB standings on the National League side mean that even clubs multiple games below the .500 mark have a solid shot at competing for a playoff spot. As a result, Chicago could remain buyers at the MLB trade deadline. As for what happens, one possibility stands out.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post predicted that the Cubs could trade for All-Star catcher Elias Diaz, swinging a deal with the Colorado Rockies in order to upgrade the lineup.

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It’s easy to see why catcher should be a priority if Chicago wants to improve its run production. Entering lay on June 15, the Cubs’ catchers ranked 29th in OPS (.494) and wRC+ (42) and sat 28th in OBP (.229). Chicago is practically giving an out away every time one of its catchers steps to the plate.

  • Elias Diaz stats (FanGraphs): .303/.352/.439, 109 wRC+, 28 RBI, 5 home runs, .791 OPS in 198 ABs

Chicago might also see something to take advantage of with Diaz. Historically, MLB teams are hesitant to acquire a starting catcher midseason because it forces a pitching staff to develop new rapport with their catcher on the fly. Because of that and due to Diaz playing on an expiring contract, he could be a very affordable player to acquire.

Also Read: MLB trades we’d love to see in June

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