With the 2014 MLB trade deadline quickly approaching, several teams that are considered sellers are actively searching for a suited buyer. The Chicago Cubs is one of these teams as they are prepared to unload several players prior to tomorrow afternoon.
“Tomorrow is moving day,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said, according to Sports Illustrated. “Things will get a lot more serious as we move into tomorrow. People are somewhat reluctant on the last day. I expect to be active. We’re having a lot of conversations.”
The Cubs dealt starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics on July 4. The team is now looking to movie utility player Emilio Bonifacio, starter/reliever Carlos Villanueva and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.
Even though Bonifacio struggled initially in his first season with Chicago, the 29-year-old has picked up his numbers at the plate. He is not someone who is going to deliver a lot of power, as evidence of his two home runs and 18 RBI this season, but he is able to come through by posting a .279 batting average. More importantly, Bonifacio is able to play several positions on defense at a high level.
The Cubs would like to trade Villanueva and Schierholtz because both of their contracts are expiring. The 30-year-old Villanueva has a dismal 5.49 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 28 appearances (five starts). It is hard to imagine some team dealing for him unless they are in desperate need of a pitcher who can perform multiple duties. Meanwhile, Schierholtz is batting .198 with six home runs and 32 RBI in 303 at-bats.
It will be interesting to see if the Cubs are able to move any of the pieces they desperately want to over the next 29 hours.