Marcus Stroman has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, have been a so-so team. They're currently 3.5 games back of the blazing hot Cincinnati Reds, who just took first place this week. But for all intents and purposes, it seems that the Cubs will be sellers, particularly with Stroman as the MLB trade deadline nears, and more so given that the two parties initially couldn't agree on a new contract. That may have changed, however.

Nonetheless, if a deal can't be worked out, then there are bound to be some potential suitors for the talented pitcher.

Stroman is in a class all on his own this season of potential pitchers to be traded. The right-hander is currently posting the leagues third-best ERA of 2.28 and sixth-best WHIP at 1.02. Like every MLB season nearing the trade deadline, teams will be looking for starting pitching to boost their rotations. But the market is limited this season, in both number and talent, which sets the Cubs in a prime position to essentially ask whatever they want for the 32-year-old.

Here are 3 teams that would be the best trade destinations for Stroman:

Texas Rangers

The recent injury to Jacob deGrom, the prized offseason acquisition of the Rangers, has put the team in a challenging position. With deGrom out after undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing upwards of a year, the Rangers find themselves in need of a reliable starting pitcher to bolster their rotation for the rest of the season and potentially the playoffs.

Despite deGrom's limited usage due to his injury even before the surgery announcement, the Rangers have managed to maintain an impressive record, becoming one of the best teams in all of baseball. This success can be attributed to the efforts of pitchers such as Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, and Martin Perez, who have stepped up and carried the load in deGrom's absence. However, if making the playoffs are in mind (and why wouldn't they be?), the Rangers would benefit from acquiring a top-tier pitcher like Stroman.

Stroman presents an ideal trade target for the Rangers, particularly due to his contract situation. By acquiring Stroman, the Rangers have the opportunity to secure another high-caliber pitcher for the long term (and perhaps more durable than their last signing). But even as a short-term solution, Stroman would serve as a valuable addition to the rotation for the remainder of the 2023 season, effectively filling the void that deGrom was expected to occupy.

Cincinnati Reds

As mentioned previously, the Reds are one of the hottest teams in baseball and have surprisingly found themselves in first place in the NL Central. While, yes, a Stroman trade to Chicago would be an interdivisional, taboo-like move, the Cubs could be willing to make this trade because of the potential return. The Reds have the fourth-ranked MLB farm system (per Bleacher Report), and with the Cubs looking to rebuild their roster with new, young talent, this could bode well for those in Wrigleyville. Plus, with the way the new MLB schedules are laid out now, where division opponents only play each other 13 times instead of 19, interdivisional trading seems less harmful than before.

The Reds find themselves in a precarious position with their pitching staff due to injuries and underperforming starters. Cincinnati entered the season with a promising but inexperienced rotation featuring Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene, and Graham Ashcraft. Unfortunately, all three young arms have landed on the injured list, leaving the Reds in desperate need of reinforcements. While Ashcraft is expected to return soon, Greene and Lodolo may be sidelined until August.

The current healthy starters for the Reds have struggled to maintain consistency and provide quality innings. Luke Weaver, an offseason acquisition, has been struggling with an ERA above 6.00, while Brandon Williamson has shown inconsistency with a 5.40 ERA. The rotation's overall performance ranks 28th in MLB in ERA, highlighting the urgency for improvement. Additionally, the Reds lack depth beyond their healthy starters, with journeyman Ben Lively serving as a reliable but temporary option.

With that being said, the Reds are in need of immediate help to stay competitive in what is likely to be a back and forth division all year long. Stroman's skillset and experience make him an ideal candidate to bolster the Reds' rotation, increasing their chances of contending for a division title. Bringing in Stroman would provide stability, experience, and depth where there is currently lack of such qualities.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks have emerged as one of the biggest surprises of the 2023 season. With a talented young core fueling their lineup, the Diamondbacks find themselves looking ahead as they set atop of the NL West. However, to solidify their chances and make a deeper postseason run, it is imperative for Arizona to seek improvements in their starting rotation. Acquiring someone like Stroman could do that.

The Diamondbacks' unexpected rise as a legitimate playoff contender has surpassed all expectations. However, their starting rotation's 4.61 ERA highlights the need for improvement. Stroman's addition could instantly address this issue with his impressive 2.28 ERA. By sliding in as the No. 2 starter behind the impressive Zac Gallen and alongside the reliable Merrill Kelly, Stroman would create a potent pitching trio that could give the Diamondbacks a hefty lead in the NL West.

While the Diamondbacks' lineup has been performing remarkably, ranking among the league's best, their pitching staff needs reinforcement. By acquiring Stroman, the Diamondbacks would build upon their existing strengths, ensuring a balanced and formidable team. Stroman's addition would allow the team to maintain competitiveness in tight games and provide an extra level of confidence for their potent offense, knowing they have a reliable and effective rotation backing them up.

Like the Reds, the Diamondbacks have value in their farm system, even though they're currently using some of that talent to bolster their team at the moment. The question is, would they be willing to come off some of that talent to acquire Stroman, who may or may not re-sign with them once his deal is up after next year? Being a small-market team, the Diamondbacks may not be able to afford such a move. But then again, who knows when they'll be in this type of position again, ahead of their wealthier divisional rivals.