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Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates

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 Monday, July.1, 2013

Garza is currently 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 8 Starts so far in 2013. His career ERA is a nearly identical 3.84 which includes his time in a tough AL East. I think the Orioles need to take a run at him to get a true front-line starter as they are solid everywhere else.

Garza is currently 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 8 Starts so far in 2013. His career ERA is a nearly identical 3.84 which includes his time in a tough AL East. I think the Orioles need to take a run at him to get a true front-line starter as they are solid everywhere else.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

As most Chicago Cubs fans probably know, an article entitled “Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates” will most certainly be talking about candidates to get shipped out-of-town, not imported in.

The Chicago Cubs haven’t had much luck recently. It seems like they have been stuck in the basement of the NL Central for far too long, and they aren’t about to get out of it in 2013. However, maybe there are brighter days on the horizon.

Theo Epstein made a winner out of the Boston Red Sox and brought championships to a club in a drought of similar proportions to the Cubs. He has started the rebuild, and in my opinion is relatively close to putting together a contender.

Rather than have the Cubs fans sit through a video of someone who may be leaving, I put one of Stalin Castro, a big part of the future for the organization. Fun fact: Castro's middle name is DeJesus, just like the last name of a Cub who may be traded soon.

Rather than have the Cubs fans sit through a video of someone who may be leaving, I put one of Stalin Castro, a big part of the future for the organization. Fun fact: Castro’s middle name is DeJesus, just like the last name of a Cub who may be traded soon.

The Cubs are currently 34-45, 15.5 Games Back of the division leading Pirates. So it’s sufficed to say they will be selling this trade season, and hoping to continue the rebuild. Who may they be selling, and what might they be worth? Let’s discuss.

First of all, it has been the dream for the Cubs to be able to unload Alfonso Soriano and his contract, but it will not be that simple.

He is 37 years old now, and has $18 Million left on his contract for next year plus whatever remains of his $18 Million from this year if and when he is dealt.

He’s been the same player for a while now. He isn’t a good defender, nor will he hit for much average anymore, but he does still have some pop left in his bat. He also strikes out a lot, and doesn’t walk enough.

There will always be teams kicking the tires with a potential Soriano deal, but the Cubs will likely have to pay a good portion of his remaining salary and get little in return, however, opening up a spot in the lineup for a young player to develop might be worth paying Soriano to play for another team.

Now the biggest trade chip the Cubs have is Matt Garza. He will be a Free Agent at season’s end and the Cubs aren’t going anywhere, which means Garza almost certainly is.

While keeping him would most likely net the Cubs a pick in next year’s draft, they will receive offers of greater value since Garza is probably the best available pitcher on the market this trade season.

Garza has had some real injury issues recently, but a team with pitching needs is going to have to take the chance on him because when healthy he is a top 3 pitcher in most team’s rotations, meaning he will help out a lot in the playoffs.

The Orioles, Indians, Rangers, Rockies, and Giants are all potential playoff teams with a need for a guy like Garza.

Expect him to go to the highest bidder of the 5, although other teams could sneak in there. Also expect him to net a high level prospect or two, with additional lesser prospects in the package as well.

Probably the next trade chip that comes to mind for the Cubs is David DeJesus. He is currently injured which could lessen his value like it has Garza’s, but he could still land the Cubs a decent return.

If the Cubs deal some Outfielders Brett Jackson could get a shot at the Majors to replace them, but is he ready? He's hitting just .223/.300/.367 in AAA and his numbers have gotten a little worse in each of the last 3 years at the level.

If the Cubs deal some Outfielders Brett Jackson could get a shot at the Majors to replace them, but is he ready? He’s hitting just .223/.300/.367 in AAA and his numbers have gotten a little worse in each of the last 3 years at the level.

DeJesus is a quality OF. He has hit .260/.318/.445 so far this year thru 59 Games for him. He can play all over the OF and plays hard. He is well-rounded player with a little of all the tools you want from a player.

Don’t expect a huge return, but a couple of mid-level prospects would be a nice haul for considering he is a rental, and will be a Free Agent at season’s end too. He does have a team option for 2014, but I’m not sure the Cubs would pick it up.

Staying in the OF for the next Cubs who could be changing uniforms by this year’s trade deadline is Nate Schierholz and Ryan Sweeney.

Both in their first seasons with the Cubs have exceeded expectations and their value will probably never be higher than it is now. The Cubs might be trying to sell high on Schierholz and Sweeney who will make nice additions to some contender.

Then again the Cubs need someone to play in the OF so my guess is that 2 out of Soriano, DeJesus, Schierholz, and Sweeney are dealt.

The rest of the players who are liable to be dealt are all pitchers. Now before I mention the names, realize again, not all of them will be traded.

The Cubs must at least attempt to compete even if they don’t have a realistic shot of winning anything. Their fan base probably wouldn’t like seeing their AAA team when they go to Wrigley.

 At the same time, it makes sense to move guys who are “rentals” to teams who are contending, so that they can build for the future.

I think everyone expects Garza to be moved, and the Outfielders who I have already mentioned have legitimate chances of being dealt too, but this next list of guys will be options to trade.

In all likelihood one or two might be moved, but I’ll list a bunch that make some sense to think about trading.

So everyone had Kevin Gregg down for a 1.71 ERA through his first 27 appearances this year, right? What a pleasant surprise he has been for the Cubies this year. His ERA is over a run and a half better than it has ever been in any previous season to date.

So everyone had Kevin Gregg down for a 1.71 ERA through his first 27 appearances this year, right? What a pleasant surprise he has been for the Cubies this year. His ERA is over a run and a half better than it has ever been in any previous season to date.

Running through the names quickly I’d say Kevin Gregg, James Russell, Scott Feldman, Carlos Villanueva, and Edwin Jackson are at least in the discussion to be moved.

What’s a trade deadline without Edwin Jackson at least being discussed? The man who may play for every team in the MLB before his career ends could be on the move yet again.

He’s already made stops to play for the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, and Cubs already.

He signed a 4 year deal this off-season so he could be a part of the solution going forward, but you never know. With all that being said, my belief is he stays.

Kevin Gregg and James Russell are going to be sought after bullpen arms that contenders always look for. Gregg has surprisingly been having the best season of his career and is 12/13 in Save Opportunities.

Russell has also pitched very well and is in a similar situation as far as having a career year, although he’s much younger. They are both signed just through the end of the season, making them amongst the nice rental options the Cubs have to offer.

Feldman has been a quality starter this year after moving from the difficult AL West previously, to the NL Central. Villanueva is another bullpen arm who should be available to contenders interested.

The overall takeaway from this article is that the Cubs will be selling this trade deadline and just about everyone is available (Unless your last name is Rizzo, Castro, Samardzija, or Wood).

There are a lot of players on 1 YR deals who are often sought after as cheaper options for a playoff run.

The Cubs will deal who they can and get an influx of decent prospects into their farm system to continue the rebuilding process.

Hopefully for the Cubs fans out there, this will be one of the last years they have a fire sale. On the bright side, the White Sox are in the same boat.

Nate Schierholtz was becoming an attractive OF Free Agent option this past off-season, but I don't think anyone expected him to play this well. He's hit .286/.335/.541 with 34 RBI and already a career best 11 HRs through just 68 Games.

Nate Schierholtz was becoming an attractive OF Free Agent option this past off-season, but I don’t think anyone expected him to play this well. He’s hit .286/.335/.541 with 34 RBI and already a career best 11 HRs through just 68 Games. His stellar play may be the reason he ends up leaving town and why he may potentially get the Cubs a pretty good return of prospect(s).

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

A big thank-you goes out to our baseball writer Ryan Dana for preparing today’s featured article.  Ryan is senior studying physical education with a concentration in coaching at Bridgewater State University. He has been playing baseball since he was 7 and coaching since he was 14. Ryan wants to be a college baseball coach once he graduates. 

Ryan is, and always will be, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. Secondary to baseball, he is a big health and fitness enthusiast. You can find Ryan on Twitter .

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Posted on July 1, 2013, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Chicago Cubs Trade Candidates.

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