This year’s trade deadline is fast approaching. With a record of 46 – 37, the Cubs look to be in a position of being buyers for the first time since 2008. It is clear the Cubs need two things heading into the stretch run in August and September. One is a starting pitcher. The second is another bat off the bench – left handed preferably.
Cubs could bring up Kyle Schwarber. He might be the best bat the Cubs could go and get. He has yet to see the outfield in any form down in AAA Iowa. We know his bat is major league ready.
Likely the best option that the Cubs have at this point is to make a trade. The Cubs probably are looking for a bat from the left side of the plate. The Cubs’ options are limited as right now most teams in the American League are within six games of a playoff spot. In the National League there are a few more sellers. They include the Padres, Rockies, Phillies, and maybe the Reds and Brewers. I don’t think any major trade is going to be made until it closer to the deadline just from the fact that it is still too early for most teams. Think they are still in the race.
What kind of player are the Cubs actually looking for? Are they looking for just a rental? Or are they looking for a player that they can hang onto for a couple of years? I think this limits the kind of player that the Cubs will be able to get it. I don’t think the Cubs should make a trade just to make a trade. It has to be the right deal for the Cubs in the short term and the long term interest of the organizataion.
Here are the sellers and some players that are likely to be available.
Let’s be honest the Phillies have a lot of players for sale at the deadline the problem is most of them are old, most of them are overpriced, and most of them are overvalued by GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. The only player of value is pitcher Cole Hamels. The problem with getting Hamels is that Amaro is going to want a boatload of prospects in return. The Cubs could give him a boatload of prospects. However, I don’t think they’re the ones that he is going to want.
If you’re going to get any players off the Rockies, they would be Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Neither is in the prime condition of their career I think Gonzalez might be the bat the Cubs could get. He plays the outfield well, hits from the left. However I have questions about his stamina and his ability to stay healthy. This year he is only hitting .241. He might be past his prime.
There is a shark in the room that nobody wants to talk about and that is Samrdjiza. Samardzija has the type of arm that the Cubs might need and could use down the stretch and even in the playoffs as a fourth starter. The problem for me is whether he is going to fit in the locker room. When he left last year he was the king of the locker room. If he returned, he would be returning to a locker room run by Rizzo and Castro.
Myself, I might want to see a trade for Quintana. He’s young, left handed, and cost controlled. I think the Cubs have enough to offer the Sox in a trade could benefit both sides.
Two names: Ben Zobrist, Scott Kazmir. Two problems: Billy being wants prospects; Cubs do not want to give up prospects.
Ideally this would be the best trading partner. Billy being is known to make deals. He’s known to make a big splashy deals. Theo could get the two parts he needs in one place. The question is will he pull the trigger and get Billy being what he wants? Another bigger question is: What does Billy want? Would Vogelbach, Baez, Carl Edwards, be enough?
For years I have hedged on trading any of the top prospects. I was vehemently against. As time has gone by, I think the Cubs system could absorb losing these three to get these two. I could be persuaded to do so, especially if it was to an AL team and I wouldn’t have to see the prospects every day. It’s a tough call. I don’t think I want to trade Baez.
If Baez gets healthy, he become the utility guy the Cubs want. He can play three defensive spots, pinch run, and a be a defensive replacement late in games.
In the winter everybody lauded general manager AJ Preller as he made a lot of trades to acquire a lot of talent. But, that didn’t work out so well. Now Preller is unloading the players he acquired in the winter to get back to the prospects he lost in the winter. The only player I hear the Cubs could go after is Tyson Ross. However I’m not a big fan of Tyson Ross. People think he’s actually good only at home but the stats show that he is a better road then home ERA. My concern is him breaking down from the percentages of sliders he throws. Also, Ross is right-handed. I think the Cubs need to go get another left-handed pitcher to complement Lester. Ideally, you want the best pitcher you can get. But if you can get a lefty get a lefty
The Brewers have lots of players available at the deadline. The player that most intrigues me is actually one of the hottest players in the majors, and that is a Aramis Ramirez. I don’t think you move Kris Bryant to left field and replace Coghlan’s left handed bat. You need that bat; in fact, you need all three. On the other hand, we have seen that Aramis can carry a team. We saw that in 2007 and 2008. And we’ve seen it in June and July this year in Milwaukee.
Three names interest me on this team are Cueto, Chapman, and Bruce. I think all three are available and I think all three are a risk. Cueto is someone you could have this winter without having to give up any prospects. Chapman, I don’t think the Cubs are that bad that they would need to go out and get someone of Chapman’s ability. Bruce might be the perfect player the Cubs want. He is left-handed, he’s outstanding on defense. The problem for me is you trade prospects to a team within your division and you’re going to have to see those prospects 16-18 times a year for the next 5 to 6 years. Then again, those prospects aren’t guaranteed success in the majors.
In the end
Right now the Cubs have a four game lead in the wildcard it doesn’t look like they’re going to be in the hunt for a division title. Stranger collapses have happened, though. I think if the Cubs are going to get players for a run at the wild card, they should not invest a lot in getting those players. The reason I say that is the wild card game is a one game playoff. You have a 50-50 shot.
Are you willing to give up that many prospects just to play one more game. Is it worth it in the long run to ignite the fanbase to play one more game? Is Jay Bruce worth losing Baez or Vogelbach for one game? I don’t think it is. If a Cubs were in the division race and head and we’re guaranteed a best-of-seven I could see making those deals much easier.
This makes me think that Theo may have something else up his sleeve.