The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs are trying to find a replacement for Dexter Fowler, and that search may include orchestrating a trade with the Colorado Rockies. Chicagocubsonline.com reports that Bruce Levine, who covers the Cubs for the 670 The Score in Chicago, said that the Cubs are looking at Charlie Blackmon as a possible fit for their hole in center field.
The Cubs have been rumored to be interested in acquiring Blackmon before, both at the past trade deadline and also last offseason. Last year, Purple Row’s own Eric Garcia McKinley even explored a possible Blackmon and Jorge Soler centered trade. However, the two sides have never been able to agree on trade terms that work for both teams. Unfortunately for the Cubs, that may still be the case this offseason.
The Chicago Cubs need a left-handed outfielder, and preferably one that plays center, more desperately than the Rockies need the right-handed outfielder. While the Cubs’ farm has been plundered a bit to help them win the World Series this past season, there are still more than enough intriguing pieces in it to make an equitable trade for Blackmon.
Charlie Blackmon continued his improvement as a big-league player last year and posted the best year of his career. He even managed to avoid the home-road splits that so oftentimes plague Rockies hitters. At this point, Blackmon is probably the most attractive center fielder and lead-off hitter actually available on the trade market and would fit perfectly in the Cubs lineup.
The problem may be that the Rockies don’t seem to be interested in receiving a strictly prospect package for Blackmon, as they feel that they are close to contending and don’t want to push that window back any further. So while the Rockies may interested in dealing from their trove of left-handed outfielders, they will probably want the return to include pieces that will fill some of the holes in their current big-league squad.
So even if the Cubs were willing to make a MLB-ready player like Jorge Soler or Albert Almora Jr. the headline of the package along with some talented prospects, that probably doesn’t fit with the Rockies plan this offseason. That plan is still centered on their search for more young talented pitching, whether for the rotation or the bullpen. Any trade of Blackmon would probably have to fill one of those two needs.
The Cubs don’t really have what the Rockies need. The Cubs lack young arms for their own rotation (and sorry Cubs fans, but the Rockies aren’t trading Jon Gray) and with the loss of Aroldis Chapman to free agency they have their own holes to fill in the bullpen as well. So unless the teams get creative and add a third team to the trade who would be able to take the players that the Cubs are willing to give up for Blackmon and give the Rockies the young arms they are looking for I don’t think we’ll be seeing Chuck Nazty in a Cubs uniform next season.
As always though, if this rumor does continue to heat up, we’ll have all the details right here on Purple Row.