11:59 PM (Eastern) tonight is the deadline for an MLB club to acqure a player from another organization or sign a free-agent so that the player would be eligible for the club's post-season playoff roster.
The player does NOT have to be added to the club's MLB Active List (25-man roster) prior to the 11:59 PM deadline to be playoff eligible, however. He just has to be under club control by the deadline.
Carlos Villanueva is the most-likely Cub to get traded today. He has pitched very well as a "swingman" over the past seven weeks (14 games), and he should have value to a contender because of his versatility (he can start or relieve).
CARLOS VILLANUEVA LAST 14 GAMES:
22.2 IP, 12 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 25 K, 2 HBP, 1 HR
.156 Opp BA
Unless the Cubs sign him to a contract extension (not likely), Villanueva will be an Article XX-B MLB FA after the conclusion of the World Series, and the Cubs would end up with nothing. So I'm sure they would be very interested in finding a trade partner, even if all they get back in return is a "second-tier" prospect.
There is an outside chance that some other Cub player could draw interest as well, but Villanueva would seem to be the best candidate.
The only stumbling block to any potential trade made this time of year is that Trade Assignment Waivers (see below) must be secured before a player on an MLB 40-man roster can be dealt.
OTHER POTENTIAL TRADE CANDIDATES: