The Chicago Cubs have a hitting problem but they can solve that by trading for this one player at the expense of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Through the first 12 games of the 2021 MLB season, the Chicago Cubs have a hitting problem. Is it a bit of an over-exaggeration to panic nearly two weeks into the campaign? Sure. But this is a rather uncharacteristic trend for the Cubs.
Following their 7-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs now rank dead-last in batting average (.163), on-base percentage (.254) and slugging percentage (.307). Things are going so poorly inside the batter’s box, that the Los Angeles Dodgers have doubled them in hits.
With the NL Central essentially wide open, you know the Cubs would like to stick it to the rival St. Louis Cardinals. If the Cubs want to go all-in in the final season with Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo on the team, they should give the Miami Marlins a call about outfielder Starling Marte.
Cubs: Starling Marte can become the spark the team needs in the lineup
Much like Baez, Bryant and Rizzo, Marte is set to become a free agent this upcoming winter. The Marlins acquired Marte at last year’s trade deadline from the Arizona Diamondbacks as the team was making a rather shocking push to the postseason. While he did not put up the greatest numbers in Miami, his addition ultimately played a factor in the team clinching their first postseason berth since 2003. In fact, they earned their first postseason series win since winning the 2003 World Series by sweeping the Cubs in the Wild Card Round.
Prior to the start of this season, the Marlins exercised the $12.5 million club option in his contract. If the Marlins fall well out of playoff contention near the trade deadline, you can expect the team to move players to accumulate assets. Marte fits the bill since he is a free agent at season’s end. If that were to happen, the Cubs should be calling.
Throughout his 10-year career, Marte has proven to be a solid and consistent hitter, as evidence by his cumulative batting average of .287 and OPS of .792. Even two weeks into this season, Marte is unsurprisingly putting up better than respectable numbers. In 11 games with the Marlins, Marte is slashing .341/.429/.439 while recording 14 hits, 10 runs scored and three RBI.
It is way too early to say the Cubs need to make a blockbuster trade. But if the Cubs are still in contention for what is a wide-open NL Central division title and they continue to struggle in the batter’s box, they should inquire about Marte.