Cubs: 1 trade to make and 1 prospect to promote to increase playoff odds

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Brailyn Marquez, Chicago Cubs. (Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)

Promote top prospect in left-handed pitcher Brailyn Marquez to make an impact

Though he has not pitched yet this year, left-hander Brailyn Marquez is expected to make his return to Chicago this summer. He made his big-league debut in the 60-game, coronavirus-shortened 2020 MLB season. Marquez is the Cubs’ top prospect with an elite fastball and plus secondary pitches in the form of a slider and a changeup. 2021 is his estimated time of arrival.

Control could be an issue with him, but the 22-year-old left-hander ranks as the No. 47 overall prospect in all of baseball, just edging out Cubs outfield prospect Brennan Davis. As he is working his way back at the minor league level with Double-A Tennessee, and then Triple-A Iowa, Marquez is supposedly getting stretched out to be a starter, although his future may be in the Cubs bullpen.

Either way, having a left-handed pitcher who can touch 100 miles per hour on the radar gun would be a huge boost to any postseason hopeful team down the stretch. While it remains to be seen if he can give the Cubs big-time innings as a starter, he could be an incredible addition to the bullpen to strike fear in the opposition. Look for him to be called up sometime in late July or early August.

Overall, the Cubs’ best pathway for success heading into the trade deadline is to bolster the pitching staff. Chicago has the bats, the defensive prowess and the foot speed to hang with any contending club in the Senior Circuit. However, if they cannot trust the starting staff or the bullpen, they could lose ground in the NL Central and the inevitable rebuild will unfortunately commence.

What other moves should the Cubs make to improve their postseason odds heading into July?