The trade deadline is less than three weeks away and the Cubs will be busy taking offers from other teams. It is unlikely that a fire sale happens, but 3-6 players will probably be traded.
Garza has the most value of almost any pitcher on the market since he won’t be a one year rental. He has one more arbitration year left, so teams that trade for him can sign him to an extension, or they can sign him to a one year deal and then let him go in free agency and get compensation picks back. He’s a power arm with AL East experience, so any team in MLB should be interested.
Dempster has been outstanding despite his two trips to the DL this season. He owns a 1.99 ERA, the lowest in the major leagues, and has pitched 27 consecutive scoreless innings. Expect an NL team to bite, but Dempster is strictly a rental, which means he isn’t as valuable as Garza, but a team that trades for him could probably re-sign him in the offseason.
The 36-year-old pitcher has had a good season by limiting his walks and striking out guys at a decent rate. Relievers are always in demand at the deadline and the Cubs probably won’t want to re-sign him, so he’s probably out the door for an A-ball prospect or two.
It’s difficult to figure out what LaHair is. Can he put up the .286/.364/.519 line he has so far in 2012 throughout his career? The scouting report says he can stay there, but the strikeouts may keep him from doing so. Teams may not be willing to give the Cubs prospects they want, and LaHair’s affordability could lead the Cubs to hold on to him until the price is right.
DeJesus has been a great leadoff hitter for the Cubs, getting on base at a .359 clip so far this season. The Cubs have an excess of players in the outfield, and while DeJesus has probably been the best of them, a 32-year-old is nothing more than trade bait on this Cubs team.
The Cubs would love nothing more than for Marmol to make a good run these last couple weeks before the deadline to boost his trade stock. The coaching staff wants him to throw his fastball more, which is back in the mid-90s, so he doesn’t walk so many batters. Depending on the other relievers available and the quality of work Marmol has the rest of the season, he could end up bringing back something half-decent.
We all know about Soriano. $50 million left on the contract. Sore knee. Low OBP. Streaky player. 20 home run power. The Cubs will be more than happy to eat most of his salary, they just want something back that makes it worth it. Even a reclamation project would probably be worth a shot (Dominic Brown?).
The Cubs have no reason to get rid of their every day second baseman, so a deal wouldn’t be made unless they got something significant back for him. He plays good defense, has improved on offense, and is a tremendous clubhouse presence who is willing to work hard to reach his full potential. Why on Earth would the Cubs get rid of that without something good in return?
Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein will have no problem with getting rid of Maholm, but with so much turnover in the rotation more than likely coming with the departures of Garza and Dempster, the Cubs might not want to unload a guy who will only bring back minimal returns. It may not seem like sound process, but it is always a consideration. Do fans really want to see a Samardzija, Wood, Volstad, Wells, Coleman rotation?
The former rookie of the year is having another tough season that has included a trip on the DL. Soto may not be in Chicago for much longer, but it may make more sense to have him play out the season and try and trade him in the offseason to open up the spot for Wellington Castillo.
Russell has a tough time getting right handers out, which makes him a left handed specialist. His role as a set-up man for the Cubs says more about the team’s bullpen than Russell.
There’s not a great reason to trade a speedy center fielder that is a perfect fit as a fourth outfielder. He’d have to be a throw in to get moved.
You’ll Only Get Peanuts Back…
Johnson is a veteran who can (legitimately) play every outfield spot and can hit left handers. There’s a spot on the bench for someone like him on every playoff contender.
Another lefty killer, Baker can play a passable-at-best second or third base or fill in on the outfield.
Mather has a little pop in his bat, but he’s nothing more than a bench guy who might be able to play a passable center field over short stints.
Not Worth Much of Anything: Luis Valbuena, Ian Stewart, Chris Volstad
Won’t Be Traded: Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Steve Clevenger, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood