3.) A willingness to get creative on the trade market
The Cubs have an overabundance of shortstops under the age of 26. Addison Russell is the future at shortstop. That leaves Starlin Castro and Javier Baez to battle it out for second base. Castro played exceptionally down the stretch when he and Joe Maddon finally got on the same page. Baez looked like a finished product after struggling mightily in his first brush with big league pitching last summer.
Castro or Baez needs to be flipped for a starting pitcher. Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres would be a good target, and the Padres do need a shortstop. It’s hard to say whether Castro or Baez is the more attractive trade chip. Castro has his issues, but he is well-established and did bounce back well from an early season slump. Baez has a lot of potential, but has a very small sample size. Castro’s long-term deal is still below market value.
Another interesting trade chip to consider would be Soler. If the Cubs are able to land Gordon or Zobrist, it may make more sense to try and capitalize on Soler’s solid postseason. Fowler could be re-signed to play center with Soler being used to bring back a number two for the rotation. Again, Ross makes sense.