1 Cubs trade candidate the Mets should target and 2 they should avoid at all costs

Apr 28, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24) reacts from the
Apr 28, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger (24) reacts from the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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The Chicago Cubs are trending toward trade deadline sellers again. Apparently, Dansby Swanson wasn’t enough to get them over the hump. It’s good news for the New York Mets who have made a connection with the Cubs at each of the last two trade deadlines. In 2021, it was Javier Baez and Trevor Williams. Last year they picked up Mychal Givens.

Yes, the results weren’t so great from those trades. They’re left with nothing from either deal. Maybe this time around the Mets pick a winner.

The Cubs roster does have a couple of potential trade deadline chips we could expect to make their way into the topic of Mets rumors. Marcus Stroman didn’t make the cut because, well, that’s simply not going to happen. That bridge has been burned. What about some of those other potential Cubs who could be on the move?

NY Mets should target Cody Bellinger in a trade if he can prove he’s healthy

The one Cubs player who should make his way onto the Mets’ wish list is Cody Bellinger. It does come with an asterisk. He has played in only 37 games for the team this season due to an injury he must prove he has overcome before the Mets go out seeking his services.

Bellinger had been hitting .271/.337/.493 with 7 home runs and 20 RBI or the Cubs prior to the injury. A center fielder who swings from the left side, there might be some immediate redundancy upon first look. Consider him as a quality backup for Brandon Nimmo as well as a major upgrade at either corner spot.

Bellinger would, in a way, take on the role of the missing left-handed batter in the lineup. He wouldn’t need to DH necessarily. Let him play one of the corner outfield spots or first base whenever the Mets play a righty pitcher. Give Nimmo a few days as the DH as well to make sure he’s healthy for when the games matter most in October.

Bellinger does have a mutual option for next season which could mean he becomes a rental if he chose to re-enter free agency. He might be a longer-term fit for the Mets, but is probably better suited as a mercenary for this season.

A look at his splits this year and we find a lefty who hits southpaws better. It’s a small sample but a .294/.379/.608 slash line and 4 of his 7 home runs against lefties is promising. Maybe Bellinger never has to sit.