As the 2021 MLB season progresses, the Chicago Cubs look to be on their way to challenge for a playoff spot. With a 24-22 record, the Cubs are 1.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central lead and 3.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot.
Keeping that in mind, there's a distinct possibility that the Cubs could be buyers by the MLB trade deadline in July. They're far from being guaranteed a spot in the postseason, so it makes sense that they'd do what they could to bolster their roster ahead of time.
Here's a look at three players that the Cubs should trade for at the deadline to help make a playoff push.
Chicago Cubs Trade Rumors
3. Sonny Gray, Cincinnati Reds, RHP
Trade rumors around Sonny Gray trace back to last season. Had the Cincinnati Reds not made the playoffs in a pandemic-shortened season, Gray might already be on a different team. Nevertheless, it's possible that the two-time All-Star could get traded this season with the Reds being 20-25. He might be 0-3 with a 3.96 ERA through seven starts, but Gray would be an upgrade over a few pitchers in the Cubs' rotation. He also would bring postseason experience to the clubhouse. Gray has started in four MLB playoff games, pitching to a 2.95 ERA through 21.1 innings pitched.
2. Richard Rodriguez, Pittsburgh Pirates, CP
With the Pittsburgh Pirates being one of the worst teams in the league this season, closing pitcher Richard Rodriguez could find himself in a deadline deal. The 31-year-old closer has 6 saves in and 15 games finished in 18 appearances so far this season, along with a 0.47 ERA and 15 strikeouts. Even though Craig Kimbrel is already doing a great job as the Cubs' closer, it's never a bad idea to bolster the bullpen. After all, it's better to have two dominant closers than one.
1. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers, OF/1B
Several teams are reportedly after Joey Gallo's services ahead of the trade deadline, so the Cubs may as well throw their hat into the race. The 27-year-old has 7 home runs and 21 RBIs through 158 at-bats this season, which means he could provide Chicago with an offensive boost. Gallo's also able to play each outfield position, as well as first base, which offers the Cubs flexibility through the second half of the season and into the playoffs.
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