MLB Rumors: Chicago Cubs Need To Trade Bryan LaHair This Week

With the all star break about to end, the Chicago Cubs are going to have the eyes of the baseball world upon them as the MLB Rumors season will really heat up. The Cubs are going to be one of the most active sellers in the market with virtually no player untouchable, and they really need to take advantage of a couple guys with good trade value right now. One of those guys is Bryan LaHair, and the sole focus of this article.

Bryan LaHair finally got a shot to play at the big league level this year, and he put up a very nice first half and was rewarded with his first all star game appearance. Many Cubs fans are now anointing LaHair as the savior of the team, and a guy to build around. I’m a Cubs fan, and I laugh at anyone that thinks LaHair is someone the Cubs should keep. Bryan LaHair is a perfect trade high kind of player. He’s a rookie, and having some success but he was a career minor league player for a reason, and frankly- he’s not an outfielder. There are going to be several teams that need a player like LaHair and could pay a good price to get him, and that’s precisely what the Cubs need to do.

This kind of possible trade reminds me quite a bit of the Jonathan Sanchez/Melkey Cabrera trade in the offseason. Buy low and sell high- great trade by the Giants.

What does Bryan LaHair bring to the table? He’s got some left handed pop, and gets on base at a decent clip, but he’s awful against left handers and a below average outfielder. With Anthony Rizzo now in the fold, LaHair’s future with the Cubs is definitely in the outfielder and he’ll cost the Cubs more runs than he’ll produce. Costing your team more runs than you make up contributes to more losses than wins and that’s what the Cubs need to fix.

Teams that could be interested in his services? The Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Tampa Bay Rays could all use a left handed bat that can play first or (gulp) the outfield.

This is as simple of a trade as it gets in my mind for the Cubs.

Trade LaHair now, and get some plus value before other teams realize what he can and can’t do either. There’s no reason to believe LaHair is going to produce anything after this season. Trading a guy that hits the peek of his value is insanely important for a team rebuilding from within.

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  • Darrell b

    “LaHair’s future with the Cubs is definitely in the outfielder and he’ll cost the Cubs more runs than he’ll produce. Costing your team more runs than you make up contributes to more losses than wins and that’s what the Cubs need to fix.”

    The 2nd statement would be true, but no way LaHair would ever cost the Cubs nearly as many runs as he produces. he is not a great outfielder, but he is not a bad outfielder either.
    The Cubs have zero reason to trade LaHair. He gets paid near the minimum and will contribute whether playing every day or off the bench. A player making a little over $400,000 doesn’t impede their rebuilding effort a bit.

    As for many fans anointing him as the savior… that’s simply untrue, but you needed to make a straw man that you could knock down.

    • gilgerard

      He’s getting paid 400,000 this year, but this season is going to call for a major pay raise- something that is virtually worthless for the Cubs to pay.

      And no- you saying the Cubs SHOULDNT trade him anoints him as someone untouchable- thus the savior.

      The Cubs need to trade this guy on the high. Period.

    • gilgerard

      What makes everyone so sure LaHair isn’t going to be a one and done?

      Trading guys that hit the ceiling on their talent is insanely important for an organization to rebuild.

  • jose

    I agree with Darrell. We don’t need to trade him. LaHair is one of the few guys on the team that consistently has fantastic at-bats and he is dirt cheap. Having said that, if we could get multiple top-tier prospects for him, that could be worth our while. I’m sure the guys in the front office are not going to let him go cheaply.

    The situation with LaHair and LHPs is not all gloom and doom. After all, how many LHPs are there in the NL? I looked for his minor league splits vs. LHPs but couldn’t find any. Given his minor league production it seems unlikely he did all that without hitting left handed pitching. The Cubs and LaHair need to figure it out because there’s a lot to be gained. Shoot, try hitting from the right side!

    • gilgerard

      Why does it matter what he did in the minors vs. lefties? It doesn’t mean jack. He hasn’t hit left handers at all at the big league level and that doesn’t fly if this guy is “untouchable”

      Only Cub fans would want to hang on to this guy-

      • jose

        It matters if he has a track record of hitting all throughout his professional career and his production from the right side has translated to the majors and the problem with LHP is the only thing that hasn’t. Why does everyone get excited when Jackson, Vitters, Rizzo mash in the minors? Because it does “mean jack” — we have an expectation that it will mostly translate to the majors. Of course it doesn’t always but LaHair has given us reason to expect great things from him. How do we watch this guy play in the minors for years and then give up on him after half a season? There is work to be done here, by LaHair and by the coaching staff to figure this out. The season is lost anyway, let him figure it out. I’ve seen him play in the outfield a few times and he’s not bad — I’d rather see him out there than Tony Campana, Mr. Lost-in-the-sun…

        • gilgerard

          I’d rather have anyone in the OF over Tony Campana.

  • Paul

    You make a lot of points but you don’t have any convincing facts to back them up. Why will he cost his team more than he produces? Why is there a reason he was a career minor leaguer? Why do the Cubs have to trade him now?

    I read your story and wanted to learn something new, but…

    My opinion is sell high if there is someone out there that makes the Cubs better. If we are just getting rid of him to make a trade, that makes no sense. If he gets traded, the Cubs feel they are getting someone they want more than LaHair. If he doesn’t get traded, then the Cubs weren’t offered anything of value. He can remain a valuable bench player, corner outfielder, and backup first baseman.

    • gilgerard

      I didn’t realize I had too.

      1) He takes bad routes- will cost the team more bases/runs.
      2) Below/average throwing arm. Won’t throw anyone out- which means runners will take the extra bag all the time. Leads to more runs.
      3) He’s not a natural outfielder meaning his jump is slow. Costs the team runners/runs.

      The Cubs aren’t going to trade him for a bucket of baseballs but if they can get a couple young kids with high upside- pull the trigger. This team has Jackson coming fast- and eventually will spend some money when the time is right on a power hitting corner.

  • Kdennis22

    1) Actually he takes fairly decent routes. You have to realize RF in Wrigley may be one of the hardest outfield positions to play in baseball. The sun and wind really make it difficult.
    2) His arm is actually average for an outfielder, but that means its below average for RF. Lahair will end up in LF eventually if the Cubs keep him so you kind of lose your point there
    3) Lahair has played some outfield in the minors and says he feels comfortable. Seems like something a team player would say which is exactly what the cubs need. They need a few veterans who are willing to step aside for the rookies when they arrive. Lahair could have easily asked for a trade when Rizzo came up and no one would have been mad. The man made he All-star team this year. I won’t be upset if they can get a top 15 prospect and maybe a high upside guy in a trade. But they don’t need to trade him by any means. If you would read some of the well respected analysts they say he has more value to the Cubs than any other team. It really make sense if you think about it.

    • gilgerard

      I’m not going to make excuses for him due to Wrigley’s right field. Is it a tough right field? Sure. It doesn’t make him a good outfielder, and it never will.

      There’s a guy named Soriano who will be in left for the Cubs for the next few years assuming they can’t trade him. LaHair won’t be moved there.

      He plays right field not left. Therefore his arm is below average and hurts the team in the field.

      The guy is 29 years old. Not 24. He’s a career minor leaguer having a good season. He’s the PERFECT trade high candidate, and I expect the Cubs to do so assuming they get good value. If they don’t- they won’t trade him.

      It’s as simple as that.