There's no shortage of rumors surrounding the Cubs and who they will or won't trade with the deadline starting to loom. There's some trepidation among fans regarding the pending moves. It's understandable on a certain level; trading away assets like Jeff Samardzija seems like a capitulation for the short and long term in terms of competitiveness. That's not always the case, however. The Cubs have yet to see a winning season under Theo Epstein's regime but I do think their recent trade history warrants some faith. Let's examine some of the bigger moves.
The Matt Garza Deal
This is one of the bigger wins for the Cubs in my mind as they traded a stretch run of Garza starts for C.J. Edwards, Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Mike Olt. Edwards and Olt have been a mixed bag so far and it's looking like Olt won't be a major contributor to the Cubs when they're ready to win but Neil Ramirez has been absolutely nasty this year and Edwards still has a chance to be a pretty good starter for the Cubs when they're ready to compete. Grimm has also made contributions in the Cubs pen all while Garza isn't in a Rangers uniform and he's been up and down in 2014.
Travis Wood for Sean Marshall
When the Cubs took a flier on Travis Wood for oddly beloved setup man Sean Marshall there was some consternation. Marshall has pitched 85 innings for the Reds while Wood has gone on to become a competent #3 starter who can handle the stick. This was a big win for the Cubs as they've perhaps found a starter whose long term contributions may still be felt when they feel they are ready to compete.
Rizzo For Cashner
The book is still out on this one as Cashner has the legit ace upside that the Cubs seem to covet but Rizzo has been especially good this year as he's boasting a .288/.404/.532 slash line. At worst this is a break even trade for the Cubs and there's a chance they finish ahead if the injury concerns that were present with Cashner while he was a Cub persist in San Diego. I really like Cash so I'm unwilling to call this an outright win but this was a very good trade for both clubs with no clear cut winner quite yet.
Feldman for Arrieta, Strop and international slot $
This is looking like a big win for the Cubs as they dealt Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop + Slot money. That helped them last international signing period as they acquired some big name talent in Jen-Ho Tseng, Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez and Jefferson Mejia. Tseng might end up as the Cubs best pitching prospect by year's end with Torres and Jimenez still refining things. Add in the resurgence by Arrieta and Strop's competence in the bullpen and this is easily the Cubs' best "winning" deal.
Alfonso Soriano for Corey Black
Probably not much of a win here, Soriano was good for the Yankees down the stretch and I do generally think they came out ahead on this deal. Soriano was a tough deal and you had to figure that the Cubs would have to pay him to play for someone else considering the contract. I have no major objections to the trade considering the context but there's no real way the Cubs can claim victory with this trade.
There are other, more minor deals. There's all the Hairston trades and the deal that brought Arodys Vizcaino in, but if we frame the context like this and evaluate the major trades they've made it's difficult to assess their history and panic about what the future holds for the Cubs when the trades start coming.
All told, they do a pretty good job here.
Filed under: Analysis