2024 Cubs Trade Target: Tanner Scott
Rich Storry - USA Today Sports

2024 Cubs Trade Target: Tanner Scott

by - Senior Writer -

It's no secret that Jed Hoyer and Carter Hawkins would love to add some more pieces to this roster, but at what cost? As we inch closer and closer to Spring Training, the Cubs are still left with some questions as they try to piece together the remaining holes on this roster.

Adding Cody Bellinger would certainly help fill one of those spots, but you also have heard the names Matt Chapman and Jordan Montgomery thrown around in recent weeks as they would fill some openings on this team. However, if there was one area you could look at and see a need,, it would be in the bullpen, with left-handed pitching being the option.

As things sit right now, Drew Smyly is the lone lefty in the Cubs' pen, but some guys have reverse splits, which technically give the Cubs three lefty relievers to go to. Despite that, this team will continue to search for left-handed options, and apart from Brad Hand, there isn't a whole lot left on the free-agent market.

That is where the Miami Marlins come into play, as the Cubs have continued to find themselves linked to the Marlins for potential deals. Unlike in the past, where they were mentioned regarding the Marlins starters, this time, they are linked to a reliever, and one of the best in the National League, for that matter, in left-hander Tanner Scott.

When you look back at Scott's season in 2023, you can see why the Cubs want him, as he was downright impressive from start to finish. Initially a Baltimore Oriole before landing with the Marlins, Scott has always been a reliable reliever. Still, it was last season that he finally demonstrated how impressive he can be. The 29-year-old Scott has posted a 22-18 record across his MLB career, with an ERA at an even 4.00.

To go with that comes 33 career saves, 32 of which were from the past two seasons. After posting a career-high 20 saves in 2022, Scott added 12 more to the table last season, but it was what he did outside those saves that stood out. Across his career-high 74 games and 78 innings, Scott went 9-5 while posting a 2.31 ERA. Throw in 24 walks and 104 strikeouts, and you can see how dominant he was, which is something the Cubs pen could use from the left side.

Armed with his heater that averages 95 MPH, Scott has more than that to offer, as his slider has emerged as a true weapon that some would call lethal. This combination of low ERA and a dominant pitch has teams lining up, considering how a player of Scott’s caliber can change the complexion of their bullpen. Given how the Cubs are in the market for a lefty and knowing how Scott can shift the pen, this seems like an ideal fit should the sides be able to get things done.

When you look at what the Cubs may have to give up to get a guy like Scott, look for Alexander Canario's name to be tossed around as the Marlins would love a power hitting OF in their lineup. However, the Cubs have some pitchers the Marlins would like, as Smyly and Keegan Thompson come to mind.

As mentioned, Smyly is the Cub's only true lefty in the pen right now, so trading him away wouldn't solve the issue, as you would lose a lefty for another lefty, although a better one. Smyly also has plenty of starting experience, so he would give the Marlins some flexibility to plug into the rotation if needed.

Thompson is the wild card in this whole thing, mainly due to his last two seasons. In 2022, Thompson was one of the best long relievers in the game to the point where he was the Cubs best pitcher early in the season. He then moved into the starting rotation and wasn't the same as his season ended with a thud.

2023 was more of the same for Thompson, as he wasn't nearly as sharp as in 2022. That led to a higher walk rate, lower strikeout rate, and most importantly, higher hard-contact rate, as his 2023 season was one to forget. Should Thompson find a way to bounce back to his 2022 form, the Marlins would love to make this deal, as he would give them the option to deploy all over their pen.

We are getting to the point in the MLB offseason where you will start to hear rumors out of nowhere. Regarding this story, the Cubs and Marlins have been talking this winter, and it doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon.

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