Trade Deadline Preview

With the trade deadline looming the Cubs are still in a position to deal off some equity for parts. The returns at this point are unlikely to be anything major but there’s still moves to be made that could clear out some roster space.

A quick note on David Price since Ken Rosenthal dropped the “Cubs should trade for Price RIGHT NOW” bomb; It’s not a prudent move right now. You’ll see a lot of these stories show up around the deadline, most of them are thought exercises much like this is a thought exercise. I just, wouldn’t do it.

So, let’s take a look at who may be buying and whether they match up well with the Cubs.

AL East

Baltimore Orioles
Needs – Starting Pitching
Equity – Lots of arms

Analysis – From an outside perspective the Orioles have something that the Cubs could really use in young and talented arms. Dylan Bundy’s pedigree and ability makes him a valuable commodity even coming off of Tommy John surgery and Hunter Harvey is riding the prospect rocket ship to the top of rankings lists. I don’t think there’s a good match here, however. The Cubs don’t have the type of arm the Orioles are seeking to acquire, even if you squint on a good day Travis Wood isn’t anywhere near a TOR arm. 

New York Yankees
Needs – Starting Pitching, any kind. 2B/3B. Long Term Shortstop.
Equity – Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and a buncha relief type prospects

Analysis – The Yanks are treading water and are in danger of missing the playoffs in back to back years. They’re carrying an old roster and they lost CC Sabathia for the season. Brian Cashman made a move to acquire Brandon McCarthy from Arizona but they’re still slated to give David Phelps important starts down the stretch in what can be a playoff chase. Add in the fact they’re whelling out Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson at second and third and there could be a potential trade partner here. The Cubs have mid level talent to ship in the rotation and Luis Valbuena could be an attractive option for the Yankees. I don’t think they have the pieces to make a move for a shortstop in the Cubs system.

Toronto Blue Jays
Needs – JA Happ upgrade, 2B, maybe a bullpen arm.
Equity – Some bats, some arms.

Analysis – I suppose a Luis Valbuena trade would be interesting here but I’m unsure the Cubs have what the Blue Jays are looking for. I don’t think either Edwin Jackson nor Travis Wood are upgrades over JA Happ.


AL Central 

Detroit Tigers
Equity – Fringe US Prospects and Venezuelan Lottery Tickets

Analysis – I can see a situation where the Cubs are willing to give up a reliever to get some equity back. It won’t be much as reliever trades don’t net very much even when a team is desperate like the Tigers. If Dombrowski feels that the price for Joakim Soria is too high he might come calling for the Cubs.


AL West

Oakland A’s
Needs – Maybe 2B
Equity – Not Much Left

Analysis – The A’s are the most complete team in baseball. I mean they COULD add Luis Valbuena here to solve their 2B issue but really it’s unnecessary.

LA Angels Of Anaheim
Need(ed) - RPs
Equity – Most of their top talent was emptied out in the Huston Street trade.

Analysis – We can nitpick the roster here. David Freese isn’t having a terrific season. I’ve seen the Hector Santiago movie up close and I don’t trust Hector Santiago down the stretch. As of right now their starting DH has all of 70 career plate appearances. But, this is a team that’s dealing with injuries. Colin Cowgill will return, ditto C.J. Wilson. If they wanted to be greedy they could target a bullpen arm but 1. Why? And 2. They don’t have much equity left so again they’d be targeting a setup man which returns us back to question #1.


NL East

Atlanta Braves
Needs – Their Players To Play Better
Equity – Lots of arms and Jose Peraza

Analysis – There isn’t a match here in my mind. The Braves’ issues are all internal as they need guys like B.J. Upton to simply play better. I don’t believe in Tommy La Stella long term but I’m unsure if they’re willing to make that upgrade right now considering how well he’s playing.

Washington Nationals
Needs – Bryce Harper
Equity – Arms And Bats

Analysis – I don’t think there’s a match here either as the Nationals need Bryce Harper to play well and stay healthy. Their rotation is solid and Rafael Soriano’s dominance makes the bullpen look special.


NL Central

St. Louis Cardinals
Needs – Starting Pitching And A Catcher Rental
Equity – A lot of shiny prospects

Analysis – The Yadier Molina injury hurts the Cardinals for the stretch run. They could use another starter in the rotation as well as they’ll be using Carlos Martinez and ? as the 4th and 5th starters. Michael Wacha will have a follow up MRI on his shoulder to see if he can start throwing again soon. That will determine a lot of what the Cardinals plan to do at the trade deadline. However, as you’ve probably noticed in previous write-ups, the Cubs don’t exactly have a good match for teams looking for starting pitchers and it’s unlikely that the Cubs would trade Welington Castillo.

Milwaukee Brewers
Needs – 1B, Maybe RP
Equity – Lots of high ceiling high risk talent at lower levels

Analysis – The Brewers promoted Jimmy Nelson and inserted him into the rotation. To me that signified that they aren’t looking externally to address their rotation. They do need a 1B who isn’t Lyle Overbay/Mark Reynolds and they could use another reliever. Again, this isn’t a good match for the Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds
Needs – 2B
Equity – An even distribution of risk and floor guys

Analysis – Luis Valbuena has been a popular name on this rundown. I don’t think it’s a perfect fit and I’m stretching here.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Needs – SP
Equity – Young Pitching

Analysis – Much like the other teams in need of starters, I don’t think the Pirates match up well as trade partners with the Cubs. It’s likely they’ll go after AJ Burnett again rather than gamble on either Edwin Jackson or Travis Wood.


NL West

LA Dodgers
Needs – Relievers, David Price
Equity – JOC

Analysis – The Cubs could sell off a reliever here but the return would be low. The Dodgers have bigger fish to fry and anything the Cubs do have to offer, outfielders and Luis Valbuena, don’t link up with Dodger needs.

San Francisco Giants
Needs – Bartolo Colon?
Equity – Young arms

Analysis – I know you’re looking at the Bartolo Colon links and wondering if the Cubs could make a move here in dealing Jackson or Wood. I don’t see it as Colon has been serviceable and has a profile that can work in San Fran. It’s 2014, and I’d rather have Bartolo Colon over Edwin Jackson and Travis Wood. Weird.








Filed under: Analysis


Leave a comment
  • Did Cubs release Zeke DeVoss?? I saw a tweet from him thanking the Cubs and is now with the Athletics.

  • yes he was released a week or so ago

  • fb_avatar

    Yankees have Headley at 3B now

  • fb_avatar

    Arrieta to the Orioles for Bundy, Gausman, and Harvey. I don't think that trade would get anyone in Baltimore fired.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Mike Moody:

    ...except that would basically mean they paid 3 top-100 prospects and Pedro Strop for 3 months of Scott Feldman. Ouch.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That would be terribly ironic, if the O's were to get Arrieta back.

  • fb_avatar

    I think Barney is likely to be traded to one club with a 2B need. Or he'll be claimed. Regardless, he is going to fill one team's 2B need.

    Beyond that, I just don't see us making much impact this trading deadline. We already made the big trade. I can see dealing Russell or Villanueva or whomever, but that's more about freeing up roster space than anything else. Any low-level prospect we get us just gravy.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I agree and I think NYY & OAK are the best fits for him. They both need a 2B now, and won't look for much offense from the position. But they both also have ???'s at SS long term. Barney can play SS, probably better than Castro defensively. Add in that neither can really afford much in the way of prospect cost right now and it just makes sense.

    We probably won't get anything beyond a low level lottery ticket or a reclamation project, but...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    HD, I have to disagree on the SS comp. Castro has better range and a much better arm. Could Barney play a steadier shortstop? Perhaps. Better? I don't think so. And if the brass thought so, they would have flipped them at some point.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    they already have Barney in NYC. His name is Brendan Ryan, and he stinks as much on O as Barney does.

  • Surely you jest.

  • fb_avatar

    Going into today, Seattle is 8.5 games out of 1st. Are they done?

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Seattle would be the ALs 2nd WC team if the season ended today. No, I don't think they are done.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bocabobby:

    Actually they are in control of the 2nd wild card right now. They have a 1.5 game lead over the Yankees and Jays. So they are in the thick of the race. The 2nd wild card keeps lots of teams in the trade market as buyers.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Sean Holland:

    I ask because the article does not mention them as a possible trade candidate...... Just say'n

  • In reply to Sean Holland:

    and who would want to face King Felix in a one-game playoff?

  • So - pretty much other than trading off a RP or two to somebody with a primary goal of clearing space on the 40-man or 25-man rosters - we got nothing anybody really wants or is willing to pay for that the Cubs management is likely to want to part with at the moment?

    Seems about right to me.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Yeah, I am hoping Russell and Strop are dealt at the deadline and Fujikawa is dealt in August. Other than that I don't want (Ruggiano, Valbuena, Coghlan) or expect (EJax, Wood) to see anything else done.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Even with his control problems, Strop has a 1.19 WHIP and a shutdown slider AND fastball. Unless we got one heck of a deal for him, why would we go out of our way to trade Strop?

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I am wary of any reliever that has the control problems Strop has. There are a number of teams that could use a late inning reliever like Strop so I think they could actually get a good return for him. I do not believe any of the Rondon/Ramirez/Vizcaino trio will be converted back into starters so between them and the possibility of Rivero and Black to join them in the next year or so the Cubs will hopefully have enough power LIR options from the right side. I think flipping Strop now, while he is pitching effectively and still has cost control, will maximize a potential return for him. Of course, if we don't get a good offer for him, I would have no issue with keeping him.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I would allow some time for Bosio working with him to make an improvement next season. His stuff is really good. He is not blocking anyone.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I certainly hope that Ramirez is moved back to starter. A very good starter is worth much more than a very good reliever.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    True. But Ramirez is a guy with a high effort delivery, decent control (but spotty command) and a history of shoulder issues. He has the stuff, but he is a guy that would run up pitch counts, and some guys just can't hold up long term as a starter.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Strop has been inconsistent particularly with control throughout his career. This current time seems like we are at a peak in his value and should trade him.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Isn't he just Carlos Marmol 2.0?

  • fb_avatar

    The Price trade scenario is ridiculous. He's probably better than Scherzer or Lester, but you're giving up prospects and then still have to sign him to a long-term deal, which he may not do. It's baffling why this was even floated, I guess because he responded to a leading question about what it would be like to play for the Cubs.

    Hard to get excited about any other trade possibilities since they aren't likely to bring back any true prospects.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    Don't you find it odd the the Cubs were the only team named as a possible 3rd team that would have the prospects needed to complete a trade for Price? I do. The Cubs were NOT crowned as the #1 organization as far as the farm goes until after we acquired Russell. I guess the Twins wouldn't have any prospects that might be used for a 3 team deal. The national media is hard at work!

  • In reply to Gregory Shriver:

    I have to imagine that any Cubs rumors tend to gather a ton of "clicks," which leads to increased advertising, which leads to increase revenue. I think that is why you always hear CHC-NYY rumors. I think they always talk, but I think most of the proposals thrown out by the media were pulled out of a hat or, in this case, meant to draw a ton of interest.

  • There are stories that Rick Pitino used to go to high schools with the stated intention of recruiting a senior but his real intention was to watch a talented junior play. Pitino would walk the hallways and look into classrooms and when he say the Junior he would give him a wink. Shockingly that Junior would end up playing for Pitino in the future.
    It's time the FO starts sending out messages that they are going to be extremely aggressive in free agency over the next two years especially for pitchers as a wink to Scherzer, Lester and Price.

  • I live in Braves country. Pretty much all my family and friends are Braves fans so I see them a lot. Tommy La Stella is definitely FOR REAL.

  • Iowa radio guy says "the other Baez" promoted to Kane County from Boise. Dominoes falling...

  • I would be satisfied if the Cubs could come away with a competitive balance pick or two for what we have left to trade. That would make losing a 2nd round pick (assuming we'll have a protected 1st round pick) much less painful when we sign a guy like Jon Lester.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Not sure if this was coincidence or good timing, but the competitive balance draft was held today at 2 PM EST. I haven't heard of the results, but push through a few deals. It would essentially allow us to move up in the draft if we trade for a pick/sign a FA. If we could pull it off twice then we would really be talking about a solid off-season/2015 draft.

  • fb_avatar

    Sort of surprised that you didn't mention Ruggiano or Schierholtz. I realize the Nate ship has sailed, but as a bench guys who don't cost much, they offer more of a presence than say, Scott Hairston.

  • This just came out.

    Competitive Balance Round A

    Competitive Balance Round B

    I still hate that St. Louis is included in this.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Considering our FO's history with drafting and developing talent, I would think this would be a really good area to get some additional picks and open up 40 man roster spots.

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    Seriously, if the Rays and Royals aren't included on this list how can they justify putting teams like the Cardinals, Reds, and Mariners. I know they have their statistics, but by the naked eye it seems flawed.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to NathanE:

    Rays and Royals were in the lottery, but they lost

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Does the lottery system work like the NBA draft? I have never followed the draft for the competitve balance picks.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm so glad the Cardinals received a competitive balance pick right after the first round, and ahead of our 2nd round selection. With their farm system and financial situation, they really need the extra help.

    Rockies and Mariners too, we all know what small markets Seattle and Denver are; the fact that Seattle could only afford $240 mil for Cano just shows how disadvantaged they truly are

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Zonk:

    It's supposed to improve competition, and we all know how much trouble St Louis has with fielding a competitive team.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yes, the Cards really do need help. I mean when was the last time they appeared in the World Series? They've really struggled throughout their franchise's history to compete with the big guys and it's sad to see. Maybe some day they will actually become competitive and these picks will seem absolutely absurd.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    From Patrick Mooney on twitter: Theo on STL getting a competitive-balance pick: "That's probably the last organization in baseball that needs that kind of an annual gift."

  • fb_avatar

    Barney + Straily for Milone who has asked for a trade.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    MY guess is Billy Beane might LOL at that one. My guess is hed rather keep Milone instead of the guy he just traded away.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    Give Billy Beane a call, send him Barney & Schierholtz (they need a 2b & an OF) to see if we can upgrade the current PTBNL into one of their top prospects.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Give him both Barney & Valbuena for the R/L platoon.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    What mutant said, teams in pennant races do not trade away ML-caliber talent. Straily was damaged goods, that's why we got him as basically a throw-in, and because A's needed to clear a 40-man slot anyway.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    we should trade him Steve Trout and Thad Bosely..

  • Fujikawa has to come off the DL by August 6th, so I would assume he will be up very shortly. They really need to move Villanueva so Fuji can come up and display his skills. Otherwise, not sure which reliever they would send down.

    I think an OF'er has to go shortly probably Schierholtz. I think his 40 man spot will be for Baez. Bring Baez up to play 2nd then Bonafacio can be the super-sub.

  • No to a Price trade. Sign him when he becomes a FA.

    Not necessarily deadline deals, but I'd love to see the Cubs make some comp pick trades now....

    How about Oak and Seattle for starters? If Shark prefers Barney, and Oak needs a 2B, why not trade for their comp pick? If Seattle wants Junior Lake, why not trade for their comp pick?

    We have Junior Lake, Luis Valbuena, James Russell, Wesley Wright, Carlos Villanueva, Darwin Barney, Justin Ruggiano, and Nate Schierholtz just to name a few. We also have international slots to trade.

    The Marlins traded their comp pick for this year's draft for a reliever. Maybe they'd like some of our pieces for their comp pick in next year's draft?? Hmm. I say trade for all of the comp picks. Kidding. But no, seriously. Trade for all of them!

  • So Vogelbach wants to be noticed? 2 HRs tonight. Golly Golly.

  • He just missed a third by inches (foul)

  • Croomer is the color guy? What color, beige?

  • The Tigers have agreed to acquire reliever Joakim Soria from the Rangers in exchange for prospects Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, Kyle Bogenschutz was first to report on Twitter. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports confirmed that an agreement is in place (via Twitter).

  • In reply to SouthsideB:

    Looks like Texas is going to get the first pick in next year's draft.

  • In reply to John57:

    Don't write off Houston who went above and beyond the call in trying to tank in signing Cub castoff Jose Mesa.

  • In reply to Behn Wilson:

    I was at first happy that the Cubs were getting rid of Barney and demoting Olt, now I kinda wish they had them on the major league team.

    A line-up with Olt, Lake, Barney is a dream to me.

    Starlin/Rizzo getting regular days off. Arrieta on a innings limit. A rotation of Jackson, Wood, Arrieta, Rusin, Villanueva would get the job done.

  • In reply to John57:

    Not so fast, have you seen our September schedule?

    Meat grinder, and we're the beef chuck.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    Don't be so negative.

    I BELIEVE we can lose it all!

    (Although my money is on Houston after crapping the bed with this draft ). Their best hope now is drafting 1-1 and 1-2. If they do that, they might just have the money to sign all 40 rounds worth if players.

  • With tonight's poor performance, does Wada get bumped from the rotation in favor of Beeler? Ordinarily you'd give the guy another chance to prove that his good start was the real deal, but since Wada's not a prospect, there's not really an upside to giving him innings.

  • In reply to Taft:

    I agree about not being a prospect, but someone I think it was RR said before tonight's game that Wada and Hendricks would be the starters for the foreseeable future. I think Wada gets another chance.

  • In reply to Taft:

    The upside is a better draft pick if he struggles.

  • I wish Castro would get it back in gear. His average is dropping drastically of late.

Leave a comment