Bryan LaHair: The Future of the Cubs or Simply Another Trade Deadline Candidate?
Tuesday July 17th, 2012
John Burns: The 2012 season has been one to forget for the Chicago Cubs, as they currently stand in fifth place in the NL Central with a 36-52 record. Chicago has had some pleasant surprises this season so far even though the record doesn’t show it. The All-Star emergence of Bryan LaHair brought Cubs fans something to talk about in the first half. LaHair was never even in anyone’s Top 100 prospect list ever in his career. The 29-year-old was drafted in the 39th round of the 2002 Draft by the Seattle Mariners and has spent a majority of his baseball career in the minors. LaHair is having a solid 2012 campaign and earned himself a trip to Kansas City for the All-Star game. Even though LaHair has slowed down, I expect his name to be swirled around at the trade deadline. Numerous teams could be in on LaHair who is hitting .282, with 14 homers and 31 RBIs.
LaHair has recently moved to right field with the Cubs calling up highly regarded prospect Anthony Rizzo. I do not believe that LaHair is a long-term answer for the Cubs. He is having a breakout season, but he is also 29 years of age and turns 30 in November. The Cubs are also 3-4 years away from contending for a division in my eyes. With young star Anthony Rizzo and Chicago potentially getting rid of bad contracts this coming deadline and offseason, the future for the Cubs is looking decent. Bryan LaHair’s trade value right now is the highest it will probably be ever, so the Cubs will need to pull the trigger on a LaHair trade if they want a valuable return. LaHair is a below average outfielder and plays much better defense at first base. Some teams that come to mind for a potential LaHair trade could be the Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Tampa Bay Rays. You could also add the Cincinnati Reds to that list with Joey Votto out 3-4 weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee. LaHair can bring some left-handed pop and can get on base at a decent clip for any team. Yes LaHair is making a little over $400,000, but like I said his value right now is the highest it will ever be.
Quite frankly it is very possible that LaHair could be just a “one and done” we have to remember there is a reason why he was a career minor league player. He has fallen off the map; in his last 30 games LaHair is hitting .232 with only 2 homers and 5 RBIs. Who knows maybe going back to his original position 1st base will rejuvenate him and he will start to hit again. But it will not be with Cubs since Rizzo is the long-term answer at first. The Cubs are going to be one of the most active sellers this deadline so do not be surprised to see LaHair playing for a contender come August.
***John Burns- MLB reports Intern: I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter (@JohnBurns_MLB)***
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Posted on July 17, 2012, in MLB Player Profiles and tagged all-star, anthony rizzo, bryan lahair, chicago cubs, cincinnati reds, cleveland indians, cubs, first basemen, joey votto, los angeles dodgers, minor leagues, outfielder, prospect, rookie, rookie of the year, tampa bay rays, trade, trade deadline. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.