Russell, Happ reportedly would be 'in play' for All-Star pitcher


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Andy Marlin - USA Today Sports
Andy Marlin - USA Today Sports

The Chicago Cubs have a young nucleus of positional players that make other organizations jealous.

However, MLB insider Brue Levine says that the Cubs would certainly deal off their talented major league roster to acquire Mets' ace Jacob deGrom.

"A trade of Russell would be more likely to happen after the 2018 campaign, not in season," Levine said. "All that aside, Russell and Happ would both be in play right now for a pitcher like Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who's under contract control through 2020. Any team looking to acquire deGrom now would be looking at having three playoff runs with him as a front-line starter. The Cubs brass may value Happ long term over Kyle Schwarber because of his speed, versatility and power from both sides of the plate."

The 30-year old ace would make the Cubs certainly one of the main favorites to win the World Series this season as he would erase most doubts in the rotation even without the reemergence of Yu Darvish from injury.

For the season, deGrom has a 5-4 record with a sparkling 1.68 ERA, 142 strikeouts in 115.1 innings over 19 starts.

I don't see the Cubs trading either one those players during the season as they are two of their core players. However, Theo Epstein knows to get someone like deGrom that would be under team control through 2020; you got to do whatever it takes if pitching is your weakness to winning it all. Trading for deGrom would be a much better fit for the Cubs than trading the farm for Manny Machado.

Theoretically, a package of Ian Happ, Victor Caratini, David Bote, and a prospect or two that could be somewhat enticing for the Mets. The Cubs probably don't have enough elite prospects in the farm system to make it work unless they throw in several players like Adbert Alzolay, Duane Underwood, Jen-Ho Tseng, Thomas Hatch, D.J. Wilson, Alex Lange, and Alec Mills.

Other starting pitching targets that the Cubs might try to acquire before the trade deadline include Rays' Chris Archer, Rangers' Cole Hamels, Tigers' Michael Fulmer, Blue Jays' J.A. Happ, and Twins' Lance Lynn.

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Tags: Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Yu Darvish
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