By Jacob Kornhauser on March 24, 2014
While the Cubs play the 2014 season, fans and management alike will surely be looking toward the future. Since the team wants to be competing by next season, they may have some moves to make this summer or sooner. Here are the five players currently on the roster that are most likely to be dealt before the deadline on July 31.
Sweeney signed a two-year deal this offseason, and that extra year of team control could make him attractive to contenders at the deadline. It's unknown whether the Cubs want him to mentor young players or be used as a trade chip, but if they get the right offer, he will be shipped off. The team has plenty of outfield talent to replace him if that possibility presents itself.
Since he was signed to a one-year deal, the Cubs know they could deal Veras for prospects at the deadline if he's pitching well. He's playing for a contract, so there's a good chance 2014 is a good season for him as well. With Arodys Vizcaino and Pedro Strop capable of taking over the closer role in the near future, Veras is expendable.
Javier Baez showed why he's the team's top prospect this spring by belting homer after homer, including one that traveled 452 feet. He will soon be taking over at second base and Barney won't be as valuable to the Cubs. After losing Jose Iglesias for the season, the Tigers have already expressed interest in Barney, so he could be traded sooner rather than later.
After having a surprising season a year ago, Schierholtz could net the Cubs some solid prospects this summer. Especially if he builds upon his performance from a season ago, there will be plenty of teams interested in his bat from the left side of the plate with power upside.
Perhaps more so than any other Cub, Hammel was brought in with the idea they could trade him at the deadline. With the No. 4 starter spot, he could impress and get the Cubs a similar package of prospects that starting pitcher Scott Feldman got them from the Orioles last season. Perhaps it could be the package of prospects that pushes them over the edge and into contention.
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