When's the last time we did a "Cubs trade chip" post?

It's Monday, why not speculate on which Cubs are most likely to be moved over the next few months?

Earlier this month, lots of folks reported on the Cubs' being extremely receptive to phone calls about their players. Basically, every single player on this roster can be had for the right price, the front office is reported to have said. For me, this is sort of an obvious thing, and I don't really understand why some teams declare players "untradeable" or not. (What one player wouldn't you give up for, say, Matt Moore and Hak-Ju Lee?)

That said, I think Thoyer's approach is the right one: this is a team without an identity, without an obvious core of young, cost-controlled talent, without a real target date for the World Series as of right now. If other teams would like to deal veterans for prospects, let's hear it, because the Cubs have the revenues to support an accelerated roster rehabilitation. On the other hand: see a veteran you'd like to have on your team? Take his salary off our books and tell us about your minor leaguers. Taking what the market gives you; this is a sound approach.

Of the two, I think it's more likely that teams will be asking about our veterans rather than offering vets to Chicago, because this Cub team isn't one or two or five position upgrades away from being a championship contender. So which veterans does it make the most sense for the Cubs to deal? I have some suggestions:

1. RELIEF PITCHING

The trade value of both Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall went up a heckuva lot when the Phillies gave Jon Papelbon $50 million a little while back. As a result, I think the Cubs' trading of Marmol is a near certainty. As for Marshall, I don't think the Cubs are in a position to trade away any potential starting pitchers (which is why you won't see Demp or Garza on this list), so if the brain trust thinks Marsh deserves another shot at the rotation then I think he stays.

2. MIDDLE INFIELD

Baker, Barney, DeWitt, LeMahieu, Flaherty — the Cubs seem to have a glut of 2B/3B types, along with some other interesting names within the minor league system, including Josh Vitters, AFL breakout star Junior Lake, Marquez Smith, Matt Cerda, Javier Baez... let's just say it's a long list. I've heard the Red Sox might take Colvin as compensation for Theo, but a deal involving Baker or Barney wouldn't surprise me either.

3. OUTFIELD

Marlon Byrd will probably be moved in the middle of the season, after hitting .300 for another three months, hitting several home runs, and playing great center field defense. The question here, however, is similar to the situation with the Cubs' likely hesitance to move starting pitchers: if Byrd is dealt, who plays the outfield for the Cubs? Soriano-Jackson-Colvin? Bring back Reed Johnson? Let Tony Campana play sometimes? I guess that could work.

Also, for the record, I don't think the Cubs will trade Geo Soto anytime soon. He's better than he looked in 2011, and Wellington Castillo isn't ready to play every day. I just don't see it happening.

Happy Monday, all!

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  • AJ ... http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2012/2612580.html

    Callis has Castillo highly rated ... and, Soto will turn 29 in January ... and has 2 more arb eligible years before he becomes a FA in 14 ... at 32 !!! Ummm

    I very much agree on Marshall ... his velocity increased this year as did his Lilly-like use of his fastball on the inside corner vs RHH to keep them from leaning over the plate for his back-door curve. I would love to see the Cubs lock him up, as he is a FA in 2013.

    Marlon Byrd is aging (34) and not worth $6.5mm ... but tradeable at that price ... in a package. Otherwise, he's a 4th OF till July 31 ... and a FA in 13. If I'm writing the checks I bring back RJ ... urpy back and all ...he's a much less expensive 4th OF who just kills RHP ... the perfect out for Jackson vs tough lefties.

    I'm all for trading Marmol ... his velocity decreased, his funky delivery was workable with Larry R ... and you're right, the market makes him way more affordable ... just as long as he lands in the AL.

    I have no idea why Boston would want Baker, much less Barney ... with Pedroia in the fold till 2014 ... Colvin .. might be a decent replacement for JD Drew. His value is pitiful thanks to a bad spring and getting "Q'd."

    The sad truth is ... Hendry left the roster in such a mess with Zambrano, Dempster, and Soriano all having either no-trades or untradeable contracts that the only REALLY moveable chips are Garza, Marmol and maybe Soto.

    Why Garza you say? He was a "bargain" at nearly $6mm last year (betting he gets $10-12mm), 2 yrs arb eligible left ... FA in 14. Turns 28 this week ... to me, he's like Marshall ... either lock him up or move him.

    Isn't it FUN playing GM?? :::reaching for my wine and valium::

  • On this team, with our full unconditional support of our new front office, there are no untouchables.

    That being said, the name that comes up on a national basis is Garza. And I like his stuff and his fire, but his mental makeup leaves a lot to be desired. I don't think Theo and the boys dangle Garza out for the highest bidder, but if some team thinks it needs a 2nd-3rd starter and has corner infield/rotation prospects, and makes us a great deal, I think we'd take it.

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