With the MLB trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Chicago Cubs have plenty of decisions to make. The question of buyers or sellers, was answered early on in the season, it’s now just a question of who to sell. Not only do they have to decide who to trade or not, but also what players (not on the trade block) they want to keep around for the future.
The Cubs have said basically the entire roster is available in some capacity. With all that in mind, here are 5 players the Cubs should keep around:
(5) Luis Valbuena
Valbuena just made his way up to the big league Cubs in June. He’s 26 years old, and a guy that’s floated around to a few teams in his young career. Now while I don’t see a future superstar with Valbuena, I do see a guy the Cubs should keep on their roster. He’s already tallied 13 RBI in only 20 games this season, and has hit the ball hard a lot. The biggest knock on Valbuena is that he’s a lifetime .226 hitter, in 796 career at bats. Regardless, he should be back next year with a chance to compete for the starting job at third base.
(4) Tony Campana
Campana is probably the fastest guy in baseball, and if he’s not, he’s in the discussion. The Cubs never have guys that can steal bases at will, and with Campana that’s what they have. Sure you can knock his lack of power, but he’s shown he can hit in the upper .200’s, and that he can get on base (.308). Once Campana is on 1st, he’s a as big of threat to score as anyone in league. At this point, he’s not an everyday player, and that’s okay. His defense is great, and he hits well enough against righties that he should keep a spot on the roster. Not to mention, what a great asset he is late in games as a pinch runner. In only 58 games this season, Campana is third in the league with 25 steals.
(3) Starlin Castro
At this point it’s unlikely the Cubs would deal Castro, but it’s been rumored that Theo would listen to an offer for his All-Star shortstop. I personally think dealing Castro would be crazy. I just don’t see a circumstance that would make it worth it. He has as big an upside as any player in the league at only 22 years old. The best argument I’ve heard against dealing Castro, is that basically if you can find a good deal for him, that best case scenario you’re basically getting a player like him in return. Why take the risk when you already know Castro is the real deal?
(2) Matt Garza
Garza has been the subject of trade talk all season long, in fact he was rumored to be dealt before the season even began. His 2012 campaign has been okay, going 4-7 with an ERA of 4.32. When you look at his performance vs. teammate Ryan Dempster’s, it’s clear that Dempster’s trade value is higher right now. That coped with the fact the Garza is younger, I vote they keep him, and give themselves a guy they can count on for quality starts for many years to come.
(1) Bryan Lahair
Lahair is one of the biggest and best surprises on the Cubs this season, but with the recent call up of Anthony Rizzo, trade talks have intensified involving Lahair. He recently moved to right field to accommodate Rizzo, which is the correct move. Lahair is better suited to play first base, but there’s no doubt Rizzo is a better glove. Lahair is adapting to the outfield, and has shown some promise, even though he’s not the Cubs’ preferred defender out there.
Unless a deal comes along that is just too good to pass up, I don’t like the idea of trading Lahair. It’s just like the Castro situation, best case scenario they get an up and coming player like Lahair in return. The only knock on Lahair is that he’s 29, and one could argue that a younger player is better for the rebuilding Cubs.
The Cubs should keep Lahair because he’s an affordable player that’s got something to prove. I personally would love to see him and Rizzo grow with the Cubs and hit in the heart of the order for years to come.
All photos courtesy of the US Presswire.