Cubs Trade Bait – June 25, 2013

The trade deadline is getting closer and the rumors are already swirling around the Cubs. Who stays and who goes all depends on the offers the Cubs get in the next few weeks. Things usually start to pick up after the All-Star Break, so nothing is expected to happen any time soon.

The list of possible buyers has actually grown since the last list, but things could change fast. The White Sox, Twins, Angels, Phillies, and Dodgers could call it quits soon, although I wouldn’t put it past either of the Los Angeles teams to be long-term buyers at the deadline.

List of Buyers (Right Now): Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Rays, Blue Jays, Tigers, Indians, Rangers, Athletics, Braves, Nationals, Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies, Padres

Limbo: Royals, Twins, White Sox, Angels, Phillies, Dodgers

Definite Sellers: Mariners, Astros, Mets, Marlins, Brewers, Cubs

Slotting the Mariners as sellers might be a little hasty, but I just don’t see them as talented enough to be one or two pieces away from a playoff spot, especially given the two teams at the top of the division. Everyone else should be firmly looking to sell.

All But Gone

Matt Garza

Matt Garza    4.25 ERA, 7.87 K/9, 2.98 BB/9, 42.1 IP
Possible Suitors: Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Rangers, Nationals, Pirates, Giants, Rockies, Padres
The Cubs have zero incentive to sign Garza to an extension before the trade deadline thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Instead, the Cubs could deal Garza at the deadline and, should they want to, try and sign him as a free agent since the team that trades for him will be unable to attach free agent compensation to Garza should he not sign with that team.

Most teams are in need of starters at the deadline, but the Blue Jays, Nationals, Giants, and Padres stick out for me. They seem in most desperate need for pitching with the best chance to contend and are in need of an impact starter to get them there. The Padres  have already been linked to the Cubs and Garza while the Nationals are aggressively pursuing pitching.

Scott FeldmanScott Feldman    3.39 ERA, 6.78 K/9, 2.65 BB/9, 85.0 IP
Possible Suitors
: Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Rangers, Nationals, Pirates, Giants, Rockies, Padres
Feldman has regressed a little in his last few starts, but that doesn’t necessarily take all of the shine off of him. He’s still a solid starter that can eat some innings and keep a team in games. The Cubs should get something pretty good back for him too, especially since the market for him will probably be larger given the lower price than Garza. Something akin to the package the Cubs got for Ryan Dempster seems about right.

Kevin GreggKevin Gregg    1.11 ERA, 9.62 K/9, 2.59 BB/9, 11 SV
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Rays, Tigers, Diamonbacks, Giants, Rockies, Padres
Gregg seems to be disregarded when you see sports writer’s best available relievers at the deadline, but his stat line says otherwise. Ok, yes, it is Kevin Gregg, but the results are what they are, and he’s been great for the Cubs. Why wouldn’t a team in need of bullpen help want him? The Red Sox have been chasing closers under GM Ben Cherrington, so why not try Gregg? The Tigers are probably looking for more of a shutdown closer, but could get Gregg as a set-up man.

Be Ready to Go

David DeJesusDavid DeJesus    .260/.318/.445  5 HR, 3 SB
Possible Suitors: Yankees, Tigers, Indians, Rangers, Reds, Giants, Padres
DeJesus was doing so well the last time I made this list. Since then, his numbers have slipped and he landed on the DL. Even so, DeJesus is an outfielder a lot of teams could use in center or right field that hits at the top of their line up. It sounds like he’s on track to come back shortly after (or right after) the All-Star Break. The Tigers aren’t too likely since they can simply call up Castellanos. The Giants and Yankees probably make the most sense since they are thin in the outfield.

Nate SchierholtzNate Schierholtz    .296/.347/.558  10 HR, 4 SB
Possible Suitors:
 Yankees, Tigers, Indians, Rangers, Reds, Giants, Padres
Schierholtz has been on a tear and has already matched his career high in home runs. He’s also hitting for average and proving to be an extremely effective half of a platoon. He also has one arbitration year in front of him, adding to his value since teams don’t have to pay free agent money for him. Like DeJesus, the Giants and Yankees make the most sense. The Royals, should they go on a run, would be a good fit as well.

If the Money Gets Figured Out

MLB: MAR 28 Mariners v Cubs Alfonso Soriano    .248/.278/.398  7 HR, 8 SB
Possible SuitorsYankees, Tigers, Indians, Rangers, Reds, Giants, Padres
Soriano’s bat has lagged so far this season and he hasn’t gone on one of his patented tears for awhile, so one might say he’s due. It’s unlikely Soriano will be traded by the July 31 deadline, but he can easily be traded after during the waiver deadline, so there’s no rush.

Carlos MarmolCarlos Marmol    5.86 ERA, 10.41 K/9, 6.83 BB/9, 2 SV
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Dodgers
Marmol was designated for assignment by the Cubs today and has 10 days to clear waivers or be traded, so he’s still technically trade bait! That being said, it’s unlikely the Cubs will get anything for him. Teams would rather pay him the minimum or sign him to a minor league deal than assume the $5 million or so left on his contract for first dibs.

If the Right Offer is on the Table

James RussellJames Russell    2.22 ERA, 8.26 K/9, 2.54 BB/9, 28.1 IP
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Angels, Braves, Dodgers
Russell still has two arbitration years ahead of him, but he’s pitching so well it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him get traded. I don’t think the Cubs are trying to trade him, but they will certainly listen and consider offers. Quality left handed relievers aren’t too easy to find, so he’ll attract a large group of possible contenders to the table.

Boston Red Sox v Chicago CubsLuis Valbuena    .242/.355/.410  6 HR, 1 SB
Possible Suitors: Red Sox, Blue Jays, Indians, Braves
Valbuena has raised his walk rate to extreme levels so far this season while hitting for a decent average and some pop while playing good defense. It’s crazy to say, but he’s been really good. He has three arbitration years ahead of him, so there’s no rush, but if a good enough offer hits the table, don’t expect the Cubs to flinch. The Red Sox seem like the best fit, but the Indians fit the bill as well.

Extremely Unlikely but Possible

Darwin BarneyDarwin Barney    .230/.293/.350  4 HR, 2 SB
Possible Suitors: Orioles, Blue Jays, Nationals, Rockies
Barney has improved his average a bit while giving a little in his walk rate. The power is still there from earlier this season, and he’s been very good against lefties. His entrance from the DL came, not coincidentally, to when the Cubs defense stopped throwing the ball around so recklessly.  I don’t think a trade will happen, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities.

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