The Chicago Cubs are in a tailspin. Following their 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago has dropped to 33-37, two games back of those Cardinals for a playoff spot, and are in danger of losing their ninth series in the past 10 tries.

It's obvious the offense needs a facelift and the Cubs have already identified the Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as a potential solution. After reports confirmed the Cubs had made initial contact with Toronto regarding a Guerrero deal, it's clear the Cubs are going to be aggressive in pursuing any available bats at the trade deadline. Guerrero, if he's available, would be perhaps the biggest fish in the talent pool.

Of course, the Blue Jays might well decide to keep Guerrero, who isn't a free agent until after the 2025 season, as they pursue their goal of finally winning a playoff series in the decade of the 2020s. But if he's going to be on the move, it's worth considering what that deal might look like

Why Vladimir Guerrero Jr. fits with Cubs

This Chicago offense was supposed to be more well-rounded. They had a solid base of contact and power bats returning from the 2023 roster and added Michael Busch as the presumptive everyday first baseman. And Busch has tailed off since a red-hot start to the season, but unfortunately, he's not the only one.

The Cubs don't have a single everyday position player with over an .800 OPS, generally the hallmark of a standout offensive season. Some regulars, like Dansby Swanson, Ian Happ and Nico Hoerner, have even dipped below .700. No matter what position any additional hitters might play, the Cubs need an aircraft carrier. Guerrero might be the best option they have in filling that need.

Though he isn't hitting for power like he did in his incredible 2021 season, Guerrero has come on strong the last couple of months. He is hitting .324 with an .861 OPS since May 1. He is also among the top hitters in the league in average exit velocity, a hallmark of his career that Jays fans have desperately hoped he could channel into more balls hit out of the park.

Will Blue Jays pull the trigger?

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) strikes out swinging against the Cleveland Guardians in the sixth inning at Rogers Centre.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The main issue at play in this entire deal is whether or not the Blue Jays are actually willing to listen to trade offers on Guerrero, once presumed to be the future face of the Toronto franchise.

The expanded MLB playoff format has made such a decision much less likely than it would have been in years past. Because teams make the playoffs with records closer to .500, the Blue Jays are more likely to sneak in with a Wild Card spot despite their tepid start to the season. If making the playoffs is enough to justify keeping Guerrero, that objective is still achievable as of right now.

If the next month goes poorly, though, the Jays know they can get a haul of prospects not only for Guerrero, but for shortstop Bo Bichette as well. It would be hard for Blue Jays fans to stomach and a teardown might well cost both manager John Schneider and GM Ross Atkins their jobs. But trading both at their maximum value might be the best way to rebuild at the end of a disappointing era

Cubs perfect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. offer

So let's assume the Blue Jays become sellers, because there's no reason to write this article otherwise. The Jays are going to want a little bit of everything: big-league-ready talent, high-upside prospects, pitching and hitting. The Cubs are going to be desperate enough to give in to all those demands.

In the deal, Chicago sends its No. 1 and 3 prospects, RHP Cade Horton and 3B Matt Shaw to Toronto, along with No. 28 prospect Nazier Mulé, who was one of the most intriguing high school players in last year's draft class. They would also include outfielder Alex Canario, who has big-league experience this season.

Is the price steep? Sure. But this is why Jed Hoyer and the Cubs' braintrust have built up a strong farm system. Guerrero gives Chicago an infinitely better chance at making the playoffs this season and if they don't, their fans might be a brutal audience for Hoyer to answer to.