What a great time to be a sports fan. The NFL is back with a vengeance as teams are scrambling to spend millions of dollars on unsigned players. Similarly, the MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching with the Cubs and Sox both in position to be major players in the dealings. Already the Sox have jumped into the fray, swinging a deal with the Blue Jays yesterday. The Cubs, meanwhile, are, well, the Cubs. Unable to unload any of their underperforming and overpaid veterans. But if it were a perfect world, there are plenty of players on both sides of town we'd love to see traded. Here are the Top Ten that should get traded, but won't
10. Matt Thornton
After today's deal that sent Mark Teahen and Edwin Jackson to the Blue Jays in exchange for pitchers Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart, the writing is on the wall. With Frasor in the fold alongside Thornton, Will Ohman and Chris Sale, the Sox now have four lefties in the pen. Throw in the fact Thornton failed miserably as a closer with his $3 million contract, and you may be looking at the odd man out.
9. Juan Pierre
Lets see. He's got arguably the weakest arm in baseball and gets caught stealing roughly 95% of the time. Then again, Pierre has picked it up lately at the plate and is getting on base pretty consistently. Seeing as how finding a legit leadoff hitter is pretty damn difficult these days, there may be a playoff contender willing to roll the dice on this aging veteran.
8. Carlos Pena
As a one year rent-a-player, Pena's done a pretty solid job despite starting off the season so miserably. Reportedly there's quite a bit of interest out there for his services and why shouldn't there be? Adding a big bat like that to your lineup could be the key to a deep playoff run. Meanwhile, if they Cubs could get some more prospects in return to help further the inevitable youth movement, pull the damn trigger.
7. Carlos Zambrano
How embarassing must it have been for Jim Hendry to call the Yankees and beg Brian Cashman to take Zambrano off his hands? More importantly, I wonder how Biz Z is feeling right about now knowing that nobody in the bigs wants anything to do with him. Remember, we're talking about the guy who was supposed to be an ace and got paid accordingly. Since then, he's had more blowups and injuries than wins and playoff appearances. The time to part ways is long overdue.
6. Jake Peavy
Before I present my case, let me first say this. What gets lost in the shuffle after each lackluster Peavy performance is how impressive his comeback from a torn labrum has been. Now that we've got that out of the way, the Sox now find themselves counting on a guy that can't last more than five innings to anchor the back end of their rotation. Additionally, is anyone getting tired of hearing this guy pass the buck everyday like his shite don't stink? His postgame quotes reek of a guy that thinks he's a hell of a lot better than he really is. Time to face facts my friend. You're average, at best.
5. Aramis Ramirez
Say hello to the most selfish bastard in Chicago. By refusing to waive his no trade clause, Ramirez completely screwed over the entire organization in the process. From the little we've heard from A-Ram, it sounds as if he's only adamant about sticking around town until his kids go back to school. If that's the true story, there's no way I can criticize a man for wanting to spend more time with his family. But if it isn't, you're looking at a man that wants no part of the pressure that comes along with a playoff chase.
4. Carlos Marmol
Besides Starlin Castro, Marmol is the one true stud left on the Cubs roster. For this reason alone, the Cubs should get the
most they can for him before the trade deadline. Of course you'll say: "Matt, you're an asshat. You don't trade a closer of this caliber." To which I'll respond, when the guy in question is erratic and saving games for a team 19 games below .500, you absolutely do. Having an above average closer is a luxury for this team, not a necessity. And if you're still jaded enough to think the Cubs will even sniff the World Series, let alone the playoffs, in the next year or two, I pity your soul.
3. Alex Rios
This guy is a minor league lifer trapped inside the body of a Major Leage level freak of nature's body. What a waste of talent. Kenny Williams gave new meaning to shitting the bed when he got suckered into picking up Rios off waivers. There's no chance in hell he finds another GM that's ignorant enough to do the same.
2. Alfonso Soriano
Similar to the immovable rock, Soriano's gargantuan contract will prevent the Cubs from progressing towards the salary dump this squad so desperately needs for some flexibility. Since the All Star break, the Fons has been historically bad and shattered any hopes the Cubs had of finding a suitor for his services. If and when the Cubs do find a way to trade Soriano, they'll still be stuck paying the majority of the millions he's owed. Small price to pay in my humble opinion.
1. Adam Dunn
As untradeable as untradeable gets, Adam Dunn has pole position in the race for Chicago's worst free agent signing of the decade. There's no point into rehashing how bad it's been. That'd be a waste of your time and mine. And similar to the Soriano situation, for better, but mostly worse, the Sox will be delivering gobs of cash to his front door for years to come. This makes the Big Donkey shows in Mexico look like a Pixar film.
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