Cubs Trade Bait – May 29, 2013

The trade deadline is still two months away, but the Cubs already have to be thinking about moving players on or before the July deadline thanks to a 20-30 record in a division with three 30 win teams. A sell-off is all but inevitable now, so it’s time to take a look at what players could be moved at the July 31st deadline.

List of All Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Indians, Royals, White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Angels, Braves, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies

The list of suitors may seem to be odd (the Phillies and White Sox stand out), but all of these teams expect to win this year and are teams I can see making a push at the deadline to get a player. Things could obviously change, but all of these teams make sense as of right now.

All But Gone

Matt Garza

Matt Garza    4.00 ERA, 12.00 K/9, 7.00 BB/9, 9 IP
Possible Suitors: Yankees, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Angels, Pirates, Giants, Rockies
The talk about Garza is whether or not the Cubs will re-sign him or trade him. To me, the plan is clear: he’s going to be traded. The Cubs’ future rotation will have Edwin Jackson (4 years/$52 million) and Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs are looking to extend Samardzija, but unlike Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, Samardzija already has life-altering money in his bank account and decided to forgo a deal this season and prove his true value (good decision so far), so the Cubs will have to pay him more than those two team friendly deals. So let’s assume Samardzija and Garza get the same sort of deal as Jackson when it comes to average annual value (AAV). That would mean paying three pitchers a total of $39 million and relying on Samardzija to be your ace. We aren’t sure if he can get there, if he’s a verified Game 1 starter.

If the Cubs believe in Samardzija and the leftover pitcher they will supposedly draft with the second pick of the draft (either Stanford’s Mark Appel or Oklahoma’s Jonathan Gray), then there’s a possibility they keep Garza. But given his recent injury history and the financial hole he would put them in, it’s tough to see them keeping Garza.

All of that being said, Garza should be able to give them plenty in return. He’s the best pitcher on the market if he stays healthy and is a great teammate. Almost every team at the deadline will be in need of a starter, and the Cubs should be able to field multiple offers and work them into even better ones.

Scott FeldmanScott Feldman    2.80 ERA, 7.24 K/9, 3.13 BB/9, 54.2 IP
Possible Suitors
: Yankees, Orioles, Indians, Royals, Angels, Pirates, Giants, Rockies
Feldman is on a 1 year/$6 million deal, so the Cubs have every incentive to trade the starter on a hotstreak. Again, most teams need pitching at the deadline, and a guy like Feldman is an easy pickup to make. He shouldn’t cost as much as a guy like Garza and should be easy enough for a team to re-sign. Feldman isn’t a sub-3.00 ERA guy, but he can deliver innings and can transition to the bullpen in the postseason if need-be.

Kevin GreggKevin Gregg    0.00 ERA, 8.78 K/9, 3.38 BB/9, 6 SV
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Dodgers
Gregg has solidified the closer’s role for the Cubs after Marmol nearly caused certain media members’ heads to explode seemingly every time he pitched with a narrow lead. Gregg hasn’t given up an earned run in 13.1 innings and has a sub-1.00 WHIP while striking out 13. Sure, there’s some luck there, but proven closers are always a commodity at the deadline, and the Cubs have every incentive to trade him for something. Jose Valverde is doing ok so far, but if he starts to go out of whack they could be suitors. The Braves bullpen is thinning quickly and the Orioles aren’t having the same success out of the bullpen as last season and may be comfortable trading for him as they had him the last two years.

Be Ready to Go

David DeJesusDavid DeJesus    .277/.345/.471  5 HR, 3 SB
Possible Suitors: Royals, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Giants
DeJesus is having the perfect season for the Cubs, getting on base and hitting for power. There’s no doubt the Cubs would love for this to continue and trade the outfielder for something big in return. DeJesus also has an option year on his contract (which would almost certainly be picked up), so the team that got him would be able to justify giving up a better prospect for him. The Royals have a Jeff Francouer-sized hole in right and are seemingly allergic to walking as a team. The White Sox aren’t a patient team either, and could keep DeJesus in center. The Rangers outfield isn’t what it was, but if they move Kinsler there things could look much better and not need a guy like DeJesus. The Phillies outfield is a disaster, and the Giants could upgrade there as well.

Nate SchierholtzNate Schierholtz    .288/.320/.496  5 HR, 4 SB
Possible Suitors:
Royals, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Giants
Schierholtz has been another good find by Jed and Theo, and has made himself a good platoon option for a team that doesn’t quite need a starter. The Giants could take him back, or the Royals could platoon him with Francouer. The Sox, Rangers, and Phillies could easily put Schierholtz in their mix for an upgrade.

If the Money Gets Figured Out

MLB: MAR 28 Mariners v Cubs Alfonso Soriano    .278/.309/.422  5 HR, 6 SB
Possible SuitorsRoyals, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies
Any team looking for right-handed power need look no further than Soriano. He’s never been good at getting on base, but it’s nearly impossible to find 30+ home run power at the deadline, especially from the right side. The Phillies might make the most sense, but they also might be out of it. The Giants are highly unlikely since Soriano vetoed a trade there last year. The Rangers would be interesting, but may pass due to the low OBP.

Carlos MarmolCarlos Marmol    4.26 ERA, 8.53 K/9, 6.63 BB/9, 2 SV
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Dodgers
Believe it or not, Marmol hasn’t been that bad since moving out of the closer’s role. It seems there is some sort of mental block for him when he pitches in the ninth, but he’s been fine elsewhere. The Red Sox could use another arm in the pen, as could the Orioles and Tigers. The Jays may be unlikely, while the Braves probably wouldn’t be too interested. The Dodgers could certainly eat the money, and it does seem like something GM Ned Colletti would do. And the Angels almost traded for him, so they are clearly interested.

If the Right Offer is on the Table

James RussellJames Russell    0.95 ERA, 9.47 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 19 IP
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Dodgers
Russell still has two arbitration years ahead of him, so the Cubs should be in no rush to trade the lefty out of the pen. Even so, the season Russell is putting together might be too good of an opportunity to sell high on a legitimate left handed reliever. The usual suspects apply, but other teams could easily join in to get a left hander they can deploy late in games.

Boston Red Sox v Chicago CubsLuis Valbuena    .252/.362/.429  5 HR, 1 SB
Possible Suitors: Yankees, Indians, Pirates, Dodgers
It sounds weird to say, but Valbuena is having an excellent season. He’s walking like crazy, making a decent amount of contact, and fielding his position well. Valbuena fills a hole at third for the Cubs and still has three arbitration years ahead of him, so the Cubs have no reason to trade him now, but if the right offer was on the table, it’s hard to see the Cubs not selling high on the third baseman they picked up on waivers last season.

Extremely Unlikely but Possible

Darwin BarneyDarwin Barney    .200/.284/.336  2 HR, 2 SB
Possible Suitors: Orioles, Blue Jays, Royals, Dodgers, Rockies
It’s not every year that you can pick up a Gold Glove with a decent bat at the deadline, but this could be the year. I personally don’t see this happening, but if they got a good enough offer, there’s a chance the Cubs could unload Barney. That being said, it’s hard to imagine trading away a Gold Glove second baseman that has improved his walk rate tremendously and is hitting for more power than ever. The batting average hasn’t followed yet, but if it does, there’s a chance Barney gets signed to a long term deal (think 3-5 years).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s