MLB Chicago Cubs

5 Players Chicago Cubs Must Trade Sooner Than Later

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Which Players Make the List?

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Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

2013 has become another lost season for the Chicago Cubs as the team has fallen near the basement of the National League Central. The time has come for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer to pull the trigger and begin dismantling this year’s team in hopes of building a better farm system that can help them as soon as next season. I have come up with five players in order of importance that need to be traded by the Cubs as soon as possible.

There is no doubt that there is a rebuilding project in Chicago, and it's one that isn’t going to be fixed overnight. I expect that the Cubs won’t be competitive until 2015 at the earliest. I know that doesn’t make Cubs fans very happy to hear, and I don’t want to hear it either. I would prefer that the team starts next season with many of their young prospects on the major league roster. I would love to see players like Jorge Soler and Javier Baez at Wrigley Field next summer, but I assume that won’t be happening until Opening Day 2015, though.

There are fans all over that want to see the Cubs be successful at least for one season. We have seen that this season is likely not going to be that year. I will be curious to see who Epstein and Hoyer are able to get for these players if they decide to trade any or all of them. Here is my list of the five Cubs players that need to be traded as soon as possible to continue the rebuilding process.

Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter @ASchmidtSports, like his Facebook page or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Alfonso Soriano

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t going to be easy to trade Soriano away with his huge contract and no-trade clause. There is only one more year left on the deal after this season, though, and it may allow the Cubs to be able to ship Soriano out of town. He struggled to start the season again, but has been much better in recent weeks. If the Cubs can get a prospect or two out of the deal while throwing in most of the rest of Soriano’s salary, a deal will likely get done this year.

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4. David DeJesus

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Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

DeJesus is the steadiest player that the Cubs have right now. He takes walks, plays a very solid center field and can move back to right field at any point. There are going to be teams that look at him and see either a starting right fielder or a player who can come off the bench to provide a defensive lift. He is in the final year of his two-year contract and probably deserves a better fate than the 2013 Cubs. He won’t bring back much, but it is a deal that the team should be looking into.

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3. Carlos Marmol

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The former closer has had some definite problems along the way over the last couple of seasons. This is a classic scenario where a change of scenery would do him some good. He was supposed to be traded for Dan Haren in the offseason before Haren’s injury history stopped the deal. The Cubs may be able to get two mid-level prospects for Marmol. They could include him in a trade with Alfonso Soriano and get more value, especially if Marmol can continue to pitch solidly over the next month or two. That is easier said than done for a pitcher who has had control problems in recent years, though.

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2. Kevin Gregg

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg wasn’t even pitching a month ago, and he has suddenly become the team’s closer and best reliever. He may not want to talk about it right now, but he could be a very solid player for the team to trade. If he can continue throwing shutout innings while piling up saves, there will be other teams knocking on the Cubs’ door wanting to acquire him. That’s the best they can hope for. I’m not positive that they can get a top prospect just because of Gregg’s hot streak but if the Cubs fall even further out, they must make this happen.

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1. Matt Garza

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Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

Garza is the player who would bring the most in any trade that the Cubs make. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded before July to a contending team if the Cubs can get a top prospect that is ready to perform on a daily basis. Everyone knows how much of a gamer Garza is and would want that on their team, but this boils down very easily to whether or not he can make it all the way to July without another injury problem.