Cubs rumors: Bellinger's wishlist, team's biggest trade bait, STL legend helping CHC, more

  • Wrigley Field is scheduled for renovations
  • Mark McGwire helping Cubs in unofficial capacity
  • Christopher Morel cited, once again, as potential trade bait
  • Cody Bellinger wants to play in a big market

Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs
Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Cubs Rumors: Expect to hear Christopher Morel's name a lot in trade talks

The Chicago Cubs are expected to have interest in splashy trades this offseason, especially with the uncertainty around Cody Bellinger's future. Pete Alonso and Juan Soto are easy to point to — both are in the final year of their contract and both would provide the defensively-oriented Cubs with a serious power surge in the middle of the lineup.

Most high-profile MLB trades are centered on prospects, but according to The Athletic, Christopher Morel is a name to watch as the offseason trade market heats up. Several teams did research into Morel prior to the trade deadline. He offers positional flexibility in the field and his bat — .247/.313/.508 — is a real weapon. In 429 plate appearances across 107 games last season, Morel hammered 26 home runs and 70 RBIs. He struck out 133 times and picked up 36 walks.

So, be it for Alonso, Soto, or a mystery star elsewhere in the league, it would appear Morel is a strong candidate to change teams in the near future. At 24 years old, he still has time to grow, both at the plate and in the field. His ability to switch between infield and outfield is useful for the Cubs, but Chicago's defense is beginning to round into shape. Another team could derive more value from his malleability. That becomes especially true if the Cubs address outfield concerns in free agency.

Notably, Morel is under contract via arbitration through 2026. He's a young player with years of team control left, which could add to the appeal in a potential trade for an expiring superstar. He won't produce at the same level as Alonso or Soto at the plate, but he's no slouch, and he's much cheaper. He's a valuable trade chip for the Cubbies, and one the team should only part with if they're confident the returning player will stick around.