The Chicago Cubs are running out of time to determine if they should trade Marcus Stroman or Cody Bellinger. With exactly one week left until the 2023 MLB trade deadline, the Cubs haven't committed to making Marcus Stroman and Cody Bellinger available. At least not yet. The way Chicago plays over its next two series could turn the organization into sellers, ESPN's Jeff Passan reports.
The Cubs have a 48-51 record, putting them seven games out of first place in the NL Central. As fringe playoff contenders, the “slightest stumble” over the next week could force Chicago to trade Stroman or Bellinger, according to Passan.
Stroman and Bellinger could be two of the best players moved at the 2023 trade deadline. If the Cubs feel they have little chance to make the playoffs, they could be incentivized to trade the veterans. Both players can become free agents at the conclusion of the 2023 season.
Stroman has said that he's tried to engage the Cubs in contract extension talks, but Chicago wasn't interested in exploring a new deal. He's been one of the best pitchers in the National League and could seriously help a contender if traded. Stroman has a 3.09 ERA in 21 starts.
Bellinger has turned around his MLB career during his first year in Chicago. After two disastrous seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bellinger is hitting .319/.369/.549 with 14 home runs in 68 games. The 2019 NL MVP hit .165 and .210 in his final two years with the Dodgers.
The Cubs start a six-game road trip Tuesday. They'll face the Chicago White Sox in a two-game series and visit the St. Louis Cardinals for a four-game set. The White Sox and Cardinals are a combined 30 games under .500.