Cubs send Cade Horton, Kevin Alcantara, and Jordan Wicks
Finally we come to the Cubs who have had a pretty weird offseason. Despite losing both Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman to free agency and not making any moves just yet, they have been in the thick of some of the juiciest free agent rumors this offseason. Given that they signed Dansby Swanson last offseason and all of the smoke this offseason, this is a team that desperately wants to make a splash this offseason and make noise in the vulnerable NL Central.
There is a difference in wanting to make a big move and actually being able to pull it off. In the case of a trade for Framber, the Cubs' farm system is a bit top heavy and there is basically zero chance that they would trade Pete Crow-Armstrong. However, there is enough prospect depth in Chicago to potentially make a trade worthwhile to the Astros.
Prospects that are near big league ready that are also worth targeting are not plentiful with the Cubs, but Kevin Alcantara is a fun one. The outfielder was a highly touted international prospect signed by the Yankees before the Cubs acquired him in trade. Alcantara blasted his way all the way to Double-A in 2023 with an .810 OPS and he still has a ton of physical projection left in that 6'6 frame of his.
Jordan Wicks is a former first round pick with an outstanding changeup from the left side. His big league debut only went pretty well (4.41 ERA in seven starts), but Wicks has #2/#3 starter upside due his ability to command all of his pitches. The big get in this package, though, would be Horton and his plus fastball and slider. Horton's dominance at the end of his college career made him the seventh overall pick in 2022 and he demolished minor league hitters in 2023 with a 2.65 ERA across three levels of the minors.