Shohei Ohtani has been drawing most of our attention for the last few weeks, but coming in a not-too-distant second is Tyler Glasnow. That’s kind of weird for a number of reasons, but the connections keep being made between the Cubs and oft-injured Rays righty. After punching up a frenetic tweet last week that signaled some potential traction on a deal, Bruce Levine shared additional thoughts with Taylor McGregor on Marquee.
“Let’s start with the trade, Taylor, that’s gonna be Glasnow,” Levine said. “And it’s the pitcher that the Cubs need for this year. They have the farm system to get him, I think that’s something that’s gonna happen.”
Asked later about a prediction for the most likely Cubs move during their time in Nashville, Levine doubled down.
“I think it’s Glasnow, trade for him for some young players,” Levine answered. “Tampa is always stealth when it comes to getting young players from other organizations, the Cubs have one of the best farm systems in baseball. I think a trade could be made here this week.”
It should probably be noted that other Chicago-based reporters have been quite a bit less emphatic when discussing Glasnow to the Cubs. Sahadev Sharma wrote Sunday in a mailbag column that “nothing seemed close to done” as of Saturday afternoon, though he noted that things can change quickly with a phone call. The common theme is that it shouldn’t take much to pry Glasnow loose given his high salary, limited contractual control, and injury history.
As we have noted in previous pieces, the Rays’ desire for cheap, controllable starting pitching in return could mean the inclusion of Hayden Wesneski or Keegan Thompson. And for those who continue to suggest the possibility with varying degrees of seriousness, no, the Rays would never even consider Kyle Hendricks or Drew Smyly.
On the other end of the spectrum is Christopher Morel, who would almost certainly be off the table in a straight-up swap. He’s too valuable in the Cubs’ eyes for such a risky short-term play and he’s not the type of player who is likely to whet the Rays’ appetite. The conversation goes in a different direction if we’re talking about Brandon Lowe or Manuel Margot, both of whom could be moved as the Rays look to decrease payroll.
Rather than follow that rabbit trail any further, let’s close out with one more tidbit on a guy who a good number of Cubs fans would like to see back in Chicago. Cody Bellinger could not have done a better job of parlaying a one-year deal into a huge payday, the prospect of which probably takes him beyond what the Cubs are willing to spend. But if things drag out and he doesn’t get offers at the higher end of the projection spectrum, the door is open.
That doesn’t mean it’s at all likely, mind you, but there’s a mutual appreciation between player and team that could facilitate a reunion if a whole lot of things break a certain way.
“Bellinger is still a guy that the Cubs are interested in,” Levine said. “Will he sign here? Doubtful.”