Cubs Trade Candidates as Buyers and Sellers

So now that we know that Jim Hendry won't be dealing anybody he expects to be useful for next year's team, we can run down the list of people who can be traded.   We can safely assume nobody will take Alfonso Soriano and his ridiculous contract unless the Cubs take a ridiculous one in return...Barry Zito or John Lackey anyone?  So who's left?  I've divided the list of trade candidates into two categories: first, who they may trade as buyers and then the more familiar list of who they will trade as sellers.

As Buyers:

1. Tyler Colvin: Colvin is one young player that doesn't seem to fit in the Cubs long term plans.  The Cubs are much higher on Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur as future starters right now.  And with the Cubs likely stuck with Soriano, and probably Byrd, there just isn't a whole lot of playing time for Colvin either in the short-term or the long-term.

2. Welington Castillo: If the Cubs are going to be tied to Geovanny Soto, it leaves you wondering where that leaves Castillo.  His breakout in AAA and cannon arm may have some teams interested in a long term, low cost solution at catcher.  It's possible the Cubs can keep Castillo as a backup, but that may not fully utilize his value.

3. Josh Vitters: The Cubs had hoped Vitters would be further along by now, perhaps even ready to take over for Ramirez.  But Vitters has been slow to learn the concept of pitch selection.  The Cubs made a couple of big statements when they spent a 1st round pick on Javier Baez and then $1.1M on Dominican Republic prospect Enrique Acosta, two guys who may settle in at 3rd base down the line.

4. Jeff Samardzija: If there's one thing the Cubs are stocked to the gills with, it's non-closing power righty relievers with average command.  The Cubs have Kerry Wood, Chris Carpenter, Marcus Mateo, and eventually, Rafael Dolis --- and they probably all make less money combined than Samardzija does by himself.

5. Randy Wells: Wells can be a nice 5th starter but that doesn't hold much value for a team that's in a quasi-rebuilding mode.  Wells is already 28 and isn't going to get much better.  He probably doesn't hold a lot of value on his own, but could be part of a package deal.  Two candidates to replace Wells for next year would be Casey Coleman and fast riser Nick Struck, who has moved from A ball to AAA this season.

As sellers:

1. Aramis Ramirez:  He's the hottest Cub right now, his power stroke has returned and he even has his batting average up to .300.  He'd have to waive his no-trade-clause and I think when push comes to shove, he'll be happy going to a contender for a couple of months when he knows he probably won't be here next year anyway.  Here's what Hendry had to say,“At the right time, Aramis and I will have a chat moving forward.  I’ll handle that like I always do. He’s been a real good player for a long time, and been really hot the last three or four weeks.’’  The "right time" means when somebody makes the Cubs an offer they really like.

2. Carlos Pena:  He's on a one year deal and the Cubs may have bigger fish to fry at first base this offseason.  His combination of power, OBP, and defense would be intriguing to a lot of teams.

3. Kosuke Fukudome: The Cubs will need to eat some of his contract.  At the right price, there will be a few teams interested in picking up a guy with his on-base skills.  He currently ranks 23rd in all of baseball in OBP.  He also plays solid OF defense.  I think the Cubs would rather trade him than Byrd because they value Byrd off the field even more than they do on it.  And with Brett Jackson likely to take over soon, they may want to keep Byrd around.  He was a mentor to Jackson in spring training.

4. John Grabow: Grabow has one important commodity.  He throws with his left arm.  Never underestimate a team's willingness to take that into account.

5. Kerry Wood: He's a veteran and still has good stuff.  The Cubs, though will only trade Wood if it's somewhere he wants to go. And it may only be temporary.  If anyone has a wink-wink agreement to come back to the Cubs at any time, it's Wood.

6. Jeff Baker: There will be some interest and the Cubs will trade him if they can get  nice return, but Baker's fate may be tied to Ramirez and Pena.  If the Cubs do trade those players, they may want to hold on to Baker as a fallback.  He can play both corner positions and he's cheap.

 

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  • Jeff Baker is so important we've avoided making him a regular starter at all costs.

    I would like to see all of those guys listed shipped off, if we're getting some sort of talent back...except for Kerry Wood.

    That is, unless he explicitly says he wants to be traded to a contender, and then come back to the team. But you already hinted at that.

    And I would rather move Soto than Castillo.

  • In reply to Swingline:

    I wouldn't mind trading all these guys either, but you have to be careful not to leave yourself too thin. Baker's a nice reserve, can play everywhere. He's a cheap insurance policy.

    I'd rather move Soto too because I think you get more back for him but I don't think it's going to happen.

  • In reply to Swingline:

    I agree with the Swingline Statement which says

    "That is, unless he explicitly says he wants to be traded to a contender, and then come back to the team. But you already hinted at that."

  • Now is the time to trade Aramis and Fukudome. Let's face it, barring a 2nd half surge, the Cubs are going to lose 92 to 95 games this year . There is no point to keep either of them , the Cubs need to face reality soon and start rebuilding and both of these guys along with Marmol have the most trade value now.

  • In reply to rodeosteve:

    I think their value is as high as it's been in a while with their expiring contracts and productive seasons. Cubs need to capitalize and get pieces to build with.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    With Pittsburgh's need for a catcher, it makes me wonder if they would be willing to take on Soto for a left handed starting pitcher prospect? I would like to have at least 1 in the rotation.

  • In reply to Swingline:

    I think Pittsburgh would love Soto. I just don't think the Cubs will trade him right now.

  • As much as I would hate to see him go, I think that trading Ryan Dempster might be the Cubs best key at getting immediate production out of a trade. That is one name you don't often hear swirling around the trade mill. Dempster + any of the buyers could get us pretty far in the trade areana. Can you say Pena + Dempster for an expiring Fielder contract and try to court him into resigning or enjoy a power first basemen with dreams of landing Pujol's next season?

    Vlad or Magglio for a combo including Fukudome doesn't sound too bad either. What do you think?

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Hey Curtis...that's really out of the box thinking! I like it...not sure if it can be done, though. It would be very cool if we could get Fielder and get a jump on signing him, but it would be awfully tough for Milwaukee to give up Fielder when they have a great shot at winning the division right now. I think it's something they would consider if they were out of the race like we were to get their own jump on rebuilding.

    I think if the Cubs trade Dempster, they'd like to get a good, young pitcher back that would be in the rotation next year. Right now if they were to trade him you'd only have 2 pitchers you could count on for next season -- Zambrano and Garza, then you'd have to hope Cashner is healthy and then go with 2 of Wells, Coleman and Struck for the last 2 spots. I'd be okay with that if the Cubs were going into full rebuilding mode, but it doesn't appear that they are.

    There's one key phrase that Hendry keeps repeating -- he wants to keep players that are going to be useful next year. He's made that clear. And I don't see Vlad or Magglio being anything more than a short-term solution. I see the Cubs trying to get younger, long term solutions back in trades.

    That being said, I kind of like the idea of Vlad being there with a guy like Castro as someone who has tremendous plate coverage, but has become more disciplined over time. I'd like to see that happen with Castro and maybe he could learn something from Vlad.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Vladimir Guerrero and Magglio Ordonez are both old players who are declining and both likely have inflated contracts like the ones we're trying to get rid of. Acquiring either of them would only cause more problems.

    Fielder is untradeable as the Brewers need him to make a run at the playoffs and they're hoping to cash in before he runs off.

    Dempster is another guy with an unwieldy contract, but if there's one thing we can't afford to do, it's trade healthy arms who start.

    The thing that worries me about Hamels is that he'll be 28 next season, and he's peaking in a contract year. He'll be looking for probably a 7 year deal in the 15-20 million range....and I don't think I could sign that.

    We've gotten ourselves into this mess by signing guys at their peak value and getting burned for it.

  • For once I agree with Hendry, I wouldn't make a move right now. And some of these choices...trade Castillo, really? I like Castillo and have liked Soto ever since he came up but he's not getting any younger and Hill is, just, well, not very useful with Castillo in the mix.

    But what the Cubs are dying for is top drawer pitching...an interesting thought I read on Paul Sullivan's Mailbag is to forget chasing Pujols and Fielder, sign Pena now to a deal and go after Cole Hamels after 2012 after we've shed Soriano and Fukudome and freed up some bank.

    Oh and with Pena hot, look who's also getting better ptiches to hit and looking like the Ramirez of old. Funny how that happens.

  • In reply to DCCubsFan:

    I'd rather trade Soto. I even wrote a whole article on why I would and go with Castillo and Clevenger next year.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2011/06/why-the-cubs-should-trade-geovanny-soto/

    That being said, I don't think the Cubs are thinking that way. They'd like to keep Soto, it appears. And if you're going to do that, you really have to gauge whether it's more valuable to keep Castillo as a backup or get value at a position of need instead.

    I agree that the Cubs do need true top of the rotation pitchers -- Dempster and Zambrano are 3rd starters at best these days. I believe they're really hoping that Garza and Cashner can develop into that stud ace -- particularly Cashner. It's a thought, but I think the Cubs need a middle of the order stud as much as they need a rotation stud -- but unlike a rotation ace, they have absolutely no candidates in the near future who could bat in the 4th spot. If you have a chance to get Fielder or Pujols, you can't pass that up and hope Hamels signs next year -- or even becomes a free agent at all. The Phillies may even ensure that he never gets to FA and lock him up before then.

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