10 Players Who Chicago Cubs Could Move Before Trade Deadline
Chicago Cubs: 10 Players That Could Be Dealt Before the Trade Deadline
The Chicago Cubs have been playing better baseball this season. While their 18-25 record is by no means outstanding, it is a little surprising when you consider how bad they were last season. It has been nice to see the Cubs play better baseball early on in this season. They are still not good enough to be competitive, but they are closer than what they were before.
Even with the improvement of the team this season, there is little doubt that the Cubs will be sellers at the deadline. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer traded many players last season to help rebuild the farm system. That, coupled with the draft and international free agency, has the Cubs minor league system on the rise. They were once an afterthought when it came to minor league system rankings, and are now ranked as a top-10 organization in all of baseball by many.
I believe the Cubs will look to continue to build their minor leagues at the 2013 trade deadline. This team is built for the future. When I think of whether the Cubs should trade a player or not, I ask myself one question: do you think this guy will be on the team when they are ready to compete for a World Series title? If not, trade them away for younger pieces that could potentially play for those teams.
There are certainly a handful of guys on the Cubs that would be key additions for contending teams. They have an excess of starting pitching and outfielders, so those are two obvious positions that I could see the Cubs selling off. Also, the bullpen has some nice pieces if a team needs some help in that area.
It is hard to say how many trades the Cubs will make, but I am sure that there will be at least a few. They are simply not built to win right now and it helps the future of the team if they continue to build the organization from the bottom up. These are 10 players who I think could be dealt to a contending team before the trade deadline. They are in no specific order — just guys that makes more sense on other teams.
Matt Garza would have probably been traded last season at the deadline if he was healthy. He makes his first start of the 2013 season on Tuesday and if he shows that he is healthy and ready to go from now until July 31, I think there is a good chance he is traded to a contender.
The Cubs signed Kevin Gregg earlier this season for bullpen depth when Kyujk Fujikawa went on the disabled list. Gregg has since taken the Cubs closer role and has not looked back. He has still not allowed an earned run in 10 innings pitched, picking up six saves. If he continues to dominate, I am sure the Cubs can find a taker for him.
Travis Wood has been amazing so far this year. He has a 4-2 record with a 2.24 ERA. All nine of his starts have gone down as quality starts. This coupled, with his strong finish to last season, has me wondering whether he could be a piece for the future of the Cubs. I think it is unlikely he is traded because he does have good value for the Cubs, being 26 years old. That being said, if a team jumps on Wood's fast start and offers a big prospect package for the lefty, I do not think the Cubs will hesitate to pull the trigger.
I think David DeJesus is the most likely Cub to get traded. His versatility and solid offensive production makes him valuable to a contending team. The Cubs have guys like Ryan Sweeney, Julio Borbon and Brett Jackson who they will probably want to get a good look at in the second half of the season. This means a part of the starting outfield has to go, and I think DeJesus makes the most sense and should be easy to deal.
I am sure the Cubs would give Carlos Marmol away for little more than salary relief. He is so inconsistent and even when he is good, he is not as good as he used to be. Maybe the Cubs can get a team to take a risk on a player that once dominated opposing hitters.
Nate Schierholtz is another guy that I think is unlikely to get traded. He has been solid for the Cubs so far this year and may prove to be valuable when the team is ready to compete. That being said, with the excess of outfielders, if there is a team that is willing to overpay for Schierholtz, I am sure the Cubs would have no problem dealing him.
Darwin Barney is a tough case. He is fantastic defensively at second base, winning the 2012 gold glove at the position. The question is his bat. He has not become a very good hitter, and it is tough to see him really becoming one. With second base being such a shallow position, I think it is possible the Cubs will make Barney available for trade and will pull the trigger for the right price.
James Russell is a solid left-handed pitcher out of the bullpen. Contending teams are always looking for guys like this and I think the Cubs could get decent value from Russell, given his successful track record.
Scott Feldman has been very good so far this season. Teams are always looking for starting pitching at the deadline, and I am sure the Cubs would not mind trading the 30-year-old pitcher for the right price.
There have been tons of Alfonso Soriano trade rumors for years. The guy has been mostly disappointing since signing a huge contract with the Cubs before the 2007 season. That being said, Soriano has been better than most people think in the past couple of years. The average is going to be low but the power numbers are still there, as he showed by hitting 32 home runs with 108 RBIs last season. Soriano has a full no-trade clause, so the Cubs will have to find a team he is willing to go to. I have a feeling this is the year Soriano finally gets traded from the Cubs.