Surplus Trade Assets and Future Roster Allocation Heading Into The Deadline

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Major League teams are no longer waiting until the trade deadline to begin making major moves. It is quite clear after the past couple of seasons that the All-Star break is now a key time of year in the trade market. With that in mind, lets take a look at the players throughout the Cubs organization the team would most likely use to construct any trade proposals in the coming days and weeks.

Current Roster

Ian Happ

This is not an indictment of Ian Happ, any struggles he battled through earlier this year, or his potential to make an impact in the future. At this point in his career he is well suited to a Ben Zobrist-type role receiving multiple starts in the outfield and occasional starts on the infield each week.

The issue for Happ right now is the Cubs don’t really NEED him to fill a role like that because they still have Ben Zobrist as well. Happ is a tremendous luxury to have, and if Yu Darvish had remained healthy, and there were not additional concerns regarding the health and effectiveness of other arms in the rotation, then I would not bother listing him as a trade option.

But if the Cubs are serious about acquiring an impact starter or reliever at the deadline, Happ is really the only piece they possess that can function as a centerpiece without creating a gaping hole somewhere else. Addison Russell‘s name also gets thrown around in scenarios like this, but moving him would make the Cubs perilously thin at shortstop behind Javy Baez.

Mike Montgomery

If the Cubs make a move to acquire a starter, they could make a corresponding move to create room on the staff. Tyler Chatwood is struggling, and still has a great sum of money owed to him, which makes him an unlikely trade chip at this point. That leaves Mike Montgomery as the most likely candidate if a team asks for a starter in return. Montgomery could also slide back into the bullpen, which would open the possibility for the Cubs to make a minor move sending out someone like Brian Duensing. If Yu Darvish does not return, or his return is delayed until September, then clearing roster space would be unnecessary.

Top Prospects

Aramis Ademan / Adbert Alzolay / Miguel Amaya / David Bote / Nico Hoerner / Alex Lange

This list of top prospects is obviously not comparable to previous ranks the Cubs have had at their disposal at previous trade deadlines. None of these players figures to be an impact player at the MLB level, but all project as good bets to fill important roles at premium positions. If the Cubs are looking for an impact starter or reliever, at least one name from this group is sure to be included.

Organizational Surpluses

Victor Caratini / Ian Rice / P.J. Higgins / Jhonny Pereda / Miguel Amaya / Michael Cruz / Jonathan Soto / Henderson Perez

It is no secret the Cubs target athletes in the draft and IFA capable of handling the premium up-the-middle defensive positions. This has left them with a surplus of talent at catcher, as well in the middle infield, which we will cover next. The Cubs are set at the MLB level with an MVP-caliber talent in Willson Contreras, which opens them up to deal freely from their ample depth at the position from the Minor League ranks. Miguel Amaya is the big name, but Victor Caratini holds value as an MLB ready talent who could be featured as a secondary piece in any major deal.

David Bote / Zack Short / Trent Giambrone / Aramis Ademan / Andruw Monasterio / Nico Hoerner / Luis Vazquez / Christopher Morel / Luis Verdugo / Reivaj Garcia / Josue Huma / Fabian Pertuz

David Bote would likely replace Ian Happ on the 25-man roster, so any deal involving one is unlikely to involve the other, but the Cubs have additional potential starters in Aramis Ademan and Nico Hoerner further down the system available to entice teams. Both have the chops to remain at shortstop and their developmental paths appear on similar enough trajectories where they could overlap in the near future. The Cubs would undoubtedly like to hold on to one of the two as a long term replacement for Addison Russell, but that leaves Ademan available if the right deal emerges. [Update:] Hoerner is not eligible to be traded until the offseason.

Duane Underwood, Jr. / Trevor Clifton / Oscar De La Cruz / Thomas Hatch / Michael Rucker / Matt Swarmer / Keegan Thompson / Duncan Robinson / Cory Abbott / Bailey Clark / Rollie Lacy / Tyson Miller / Erich Uelmen

The Cubs have a ton of right-handed, back-of-the-rotation prospects, within 1-2 years in age, and they are all going to be ready for AA/AAA over the next season or two. They can easily absorb the loss of a couple of these guys. Even if a few project better to a bullpen role down the line, the team has depth in that area as well (Dillon Maples, Dakota Mekkes, James Norwood, etc.). None have the ceiling to be a centerpiece in any deal, but all would fit nicely as parts to round out a trade proposal.


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    A team can never have too much pitching.

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that any player drafted this year (e.g., Hoerner) can be traded until after the World Series.

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    You are correct. This is the Trea Turner rule. They relaxed the length of time when players recently drafted could be traded from one year from when they signed down to the end of the regular season of the year they drafted. The catch was you can't use PTBNL to get around this rule. Any deal involving players drafted this year can't happen until the championship season ends which is after the World Series.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Good point. My inclusion of Hoerner was more geared toward opening the possibility of the team feeling comfortable moving Ademan. I do not believe the team would move Hoerner even if they could.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I added a line of clarification in the article.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Agreed, Michael. Thanks!

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    Thanks for the clarification/confirmation, Dabs.

  • What do you think would bring DeGrom? Happ, Amaya, +1 more top to mid tier guy? Maybe a guy like Hatch?

    I'd do that. We need to go all in on another title.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    For someone like DeGrom I would think it would have to be
    1) Happ,
    2) One of: Montgomery/Alzolay/Lange,
    3) One of: Ademan/Amaya,
    4) Then 1-2 smaller pieces

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I think we could get DeGrom real easy with this offer

    Russell,Montgomery and Lange Maybe 1 or 2 smaller pieces.

    I would make that in a minute.

  • In reply to cubbie forever:

    I would think you would have to include 2 from Happ, Russell, Schwarber & Almora plus a prospect

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    I don't think the Cubs want to trade their core players (Happ, Russel, Schwarber and Almora) right now and I don't think the Mets want to deal DeGrom or Thor. The FO said they are going for pitching depth. That sounds like a BOR innings eater. Those are much cheaper and still valuable.

  • In reply to WaitUntilNextYear:

    Agreed waituntilnextyear you know I've generally talked about how I think cub fans are too harsh when it comes to Ian Happ and you know I value Happ as much as anyone on this roster. With that being said if you can get Jacob Degrom with Happ as the center piece I'll pack Happ's bags myself and drive him to the airport. I definitely don't see how there's a deal unless we did something like Russell, Happ, Caratini, and Alzolay for Degrom and I think that's the bare minimum of what the mets would even consider I'd think they would want high upside prospects with at least 5-6 years of cost control so I don't really think Russell would be that appealing to them from that perspective. Overall though I think Degrom only gets traded for a huge package you're talking about one of the true elite aces in the game and he's young.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *Correction I value Happ as much as anyone on cubs den not the cubs roster

  • If they go after a starter it’s either the cagey veteran inning eater or go get a down year guy with some years of control like Stroman or Duffy. KC needs position players. Toronto needs pitching.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Gator:

    While acquiring someone like deGrom is certainly appealing I think that an innings eater would also be valuable, and a lot cheaper. And if Darkish comes back strong we cross that bridge when we get there.

  • fb_avatar

    Cleveland just acquired Brad Hand.

  • Can someone check why my posts never make it thru. At least I never notice but I quit checking after a day.

  • In reply to dad1:

    I am not sure what the issue is. I did find this comment in the spam/trash filter. I've relaxed the number of terms and that has decreased the number of non-spam comments getting caught. I do try to check multiple times a day to fish out comments that make it through but there are times where it is more than a day before I can check. Apologies if that has happened to you multiple times.

  • In reply to Mike Banghart:

    thanks, I had a question but my wife interrupted me and I never got to ask so I will wait for a future article.

  • In reply to dad1:

    I adjusted the key words in the filter and I think yours shouldn't get caught as frequently as it did in the past. Sorry for the issues.

  • Buried in an article this morning from MLB's Jim Callis, he discusses changes coming next week to the Cubs' Top 30 prospects:

    "(Miguel) Amaya, the starting catcher for the World team, will be the No. 1 prospect when we redo our Cubs Top 30. He's very advanced for a 19-year-old catcher, displaying quality receiving and framing skills along with a quick transfer that enhances his average arm strength. He also makes consistent contact at the plate and could have 15-20 home run power.

    Three of Chicago's 2018 Draft choices will crack the Top 30. Stanford shortstop Nico Hoerner (first round) will rank in the upper third, while high school outfielders Brennen Davis (second) and Cole Roederer (supplemental second) will fit in the middle of the list."

  • In reply to lblegacy:

    Thanks for the info and that's who I'd expect good to see our higher priced IFA signings panning out going back to Gleyber Torres and Eloy

  • So, has Drew Smiley progressed to a point where he has any trade value now? perhaps by the off-season?

Leave a comment