Chicago Cubs Rumors: 3 Players Becoming Trade Candidates

One of the biggest disappointments of the past month in the NL has been the Chicago Cubs. Since starting the season 12-7, they've gone 11-23. This was a team that was hoping to accelerate its rebuild after a couple of big offseason signings. 

It hasn't happened. 

The Cubs are last in clutch hitting, and their bullpen has struggled. 

As MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal noted today on his Fair Territory podcast, "if the Cubs don't turn it around, they're going to probably make some (sell-off) moves at the trade deadline."

3 players who are foremost at the head of the Most Tradeable List:

Marcus Stroman

He has an opt-out at the end of the season, with $21M remaining on his contract for next season, if he so chooses. But with the excellent year he's having (2.59 ERA, 0.98 WHIP), it's highly likely that the ultra-competitive "bet on yourself" type player will head back into the free agent market after the season. 

That makes him a prime sell-high candidate.

Drew Smyly

A bit older than Stroman, he, too, is having a nice season in the Cubs' rotation, with a 3.45 ERA and a 53:14 K/BB ratio. He's surrendered two runs or less in all but two of his 11 starts. He has a year left on his contract, at $8.5M, but he has an opt-out clause that kicks in if he reaches 110 innings. At 60 innings already, he'll likely top that mark. 

At 35, he's not going to be part of the next truly contending Cubs team, so he could be dealt as well. 

Cody Bellinger

He'll be out about two more weeks with a knee injury, but once he returns, if he picks up where he left off, he will also be able to bring back some assets at the trade deadline. 

Signed to a one-year, "prove to everyone that he's back" kind of deal, the former NL MVP with the Los Angeles Dodgers is hitting .271 with an .830 OPS for the Cubbies, both numbers eons above his recent seasons' performances, along with seven homers, 20 RBIs and nine stolen bases. 

Teams will certainly be interested. 

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports