2.) Who gets traded?
The Cubs have too many assets under the age of 25 to imagine they won’t make at least one trade this offseason for a frontline starting pitcher. It does not make too much sense, unless the Cubs really are going to try Javier Baez in the outfield, to hold onto Baez, Russell, and Castro. Castro is least likely to be traded just because of the money he is owed. Russell won’t be traded either because he has the most upside. If anyone gets moved, it’s likely to be Baez. The San Diego Padres have a gaping hole at shortstop and missed out on the Andrelton Simmons sweepstakes. San Diego will probably be even more aggressive in the pursuit of a shortstop now. The Padres have Tyson Ross, and a Ross-Baez swap with a few other prospects changing hands to complete the deal makes a lot of sense. San Diego could of course decide their team is good enough to contend and not trade anyone, a plan that worked really well for them at the trade deadline last year.
Another name to consider on the trade market is Jorge Soler. The Cubs have been linked to Alex Gordon who plays a corner outfield spot. Kyle Schwarber will likely see most of his action in the outfield next year. Schwarber and Gordon would take up left and right, so where does that leave Soler? He does not seem like a natural candidate to play center-field, but it’s possible. Gordon is a great fit for the Cubs, as is another outfielder, Ben Zobrist. If the Cubs sign either one of those two, Soler could become a trade chip, allowing the Cubs to capitalize on his huge postseason.