By Jacob Kornhauser on April 3, 2014
This should be the last season that the Cubs are purging large portions of their roster in order to return packages of prospects as they're inching closer to competing. The 2014 season is the home stretch for acquiring talented young players in order to improve the organization.
Here are five deals they could make before July 31 that would bolster the team's hopes in the future.
Diamondbacks Get: RHP Jeff Samardzija
Cubs Get: RHP Braden Shipley
RHP Jake Barrett
It's becoming clear that Samardzija isn't likely to sign an extension with the Cubs, so they will have to move him in July, in all likelihood. Seemingly set hitting wise, the Cubs need to add pitching and Shipley and Barrett, two of the Diamondbacks' top seven prospects, would provide a huge help.
Giants Get: RHP Jose Veras
Cubs Get: RHP Chris Stratton
Veras only signed a one-year deal this offseason, and could easily be dealt at the deadline. With Sergio Romo in the closer role, the team could use a set-up man and Veras could be their guy. Stratton has a lot of upside, previously one of the team's top three prospects, but struggled last season. The Cubs could take him off the Giants' hands.
Tigers Get: 2B Darwin Barney
Cubs Get: LHP Jordan John
Low-level Prospect and Cash
With a plethora of infielders set to hit Wrigley Field in the next year or two, Barney is likely expendable. The Tigers have already looked for help in the middle infield, and they could still need it in July. John isn't a top prospect, but is a lefty arm who could develop in the minor leagues. They would likely get cash in addition to John.
Indians Get: OF Nate Schierholtz
Cubs Get: RHP Austin Adams
RHP C.C. Lee
Schierholtz really impressed in his first year in Chicago, and the Cubs are hoping he can do more of the same this season. With no real future with the team, he's definitely tradeable. Adams and Lee are both mid-level relief pitching prospects who could add to the organizational depth and contribute in the bullpen in years to come.
Angels Get: RHP Jason Hammel
Cubs Get: LHP Nick Maronde
RHP R.J. Alvarez
The Angels look like they're primed to finally actually compete this season, but they could use some more pitching. If they're right in the race in July, they could overpay for a solid starter like Hammel by shipping away two top 10 pitching prospects in order to win in 2014. Just like in the past, the Cubs could capitalize on that desperation.
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