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ESPN Writer Identifies Michael Pineda as Top Trade Target for the Cubs

Acquiring Michael Pineda would address the Cubs biggest need ahead of the trade deadline.
Michael Pineda Twins Cubs Trade

Photo: Twins/Twitter

Here we are again reacting to another ESPN article that has a small snippet on all 30 teams. This article is titled “One player all 30 MLB teams should trade for -- or away -- before the deadline.”

ESPN Senior Writer David Schoenfield runs through all 30 MLB teams and gives his opinion on who each club should either trade for or trade away followed by a bit of reasoning.

His opinion on what the Cubs should do at the upcoming trade deadline? Trade for Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Michael Pineda, who is currently recovering from forearm inflammation. He identifies J.A. Happ, Jon Gray, and Alex Cobb as other alternatives that will likely be on the market.

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Pineda has put together a solid ten-year career pitching to a 4.00 ERA overall with a 3.70 ERA in 56 innings this season. As previously mentioned, Pineda is currently on the injured list with forearm inflammation. However, he is working himself to game action and played catch as recently as Sunday, June 20.

If the Cubs were to trade for Michael Pineda, I would be 100% on board with it. That potential acquisition would slot another proven veteran arm into the Cubs rotation. Pineda has pitched his entire career in the American League, but the transition from AL to NL typically plays into a pitcher's favor. The Cubs likely wouldn't have to give up all that much to acquire Pineda, and the Twins are likely to be sellers at the deadline considering they are the most underachieving team in recent baseball memory.

Schoenfield also offered J.A. Happ, Jon Gray, and Alex Cobb as other potential trade targets for the Cubs. Of those three, I view J.A. Happ as the most likely option for the Cubs because he also plays for the struggling Twins and would become the lone left-handed pitcher in the Cubs rotation.

I don't foresee the Angels trading away any of their starting pitchers because that is their weakest position group and they are still playing somewhat competitive baseball in the AL West. Ultimately, I would be satisfied if the Cubs added any of the aforementioned names because they desperately need help in the starting rotation if they are to remain near the top of the NL Central down the home stretch of the season.

One issue I have with Shoenfield's article is the suggestion that the Philadelphia Phillies should trade for Craig Kimbrel. There is absolutely no problem with stating the Phillies could use Kimbrel because bullpen help is a major need of theirs, but propping up the notion that the Cubs are entertaining trading their closer is what bothers me. The Cubs are in first place despite an abysmal month of June so far and the team is good enough to win the NL Central. Jed Hoyer and co. should only be thinking about making moves to better their chances of winning the division and playing on into October.