Potential Trade Partners for Cubs

I don't know about you guys, but I've haven't been this disinterested in a Cubs team since the mid 90's. It might just be continuing resentment over how 2008 ended or the fact that I disagreed with the majority of their moves since then and since most of it's not working, I just feel no connection to the team. But personal feelings aside, the Cubs are 5 games below .500 and 6.5 back in the division and 7 out of the wild card. They could turn it around, of course, but they probably won't. Knowing Jim Hendry and the Cubs desire to sell seats, they'll wait far longer than most of us would like to pull the plug on 2010, but if they do, here are some possible trade partners with my reasoning. I'm sure you guys will have your own ideas.

Derrek Lee & Xavier Nady:

Pretty much all the teams interested in Derrek Lee would probably be interested in Xavier Nady as a cheaper option. Nady has a NTC through June 15th, Lee has one for the rest of the year. I'm sure Lee would rather play for a contender then go down with the sinking Cubs 2010 ship. Before I get into the teams, one obstacle to most of the Cubs trading chips is the rather large sums of money they are owed. But if you're the Cubs and can move Lee or Lilly, why not just offer to pay the bulk of the rest of their 2010 salaries? It's not like that money wasn't already accounted for in the Cubs budget and the Cubs may actually get a decent prospect or two if they're paying the freight. When it comes to Soriano, Fukudome or Ramirez, I can see why the Cubs wouldn't want to pay future years, but maybe offer to pay the rest of 2010 to unload them?

Back to our suitors for Lee and Nady ranked from least likely to most likely.Another part of the puzzle is there are plenty of other potential 1b options available such as Berkman, Branyan, Konerko, etc.

Colorado Rockies: I highly doubt they'd bench Todd Helton, but there is a need there.

Seattle Mariners: More likely they're sellers, but if they make some kind of run in the next few weeks, the AL West is still very much up for grabs and they need offense and plenty of it.

San Francisco Giants: The call-up of Buster Posey probably took them out along with the signing of Pat Burrell. Nady could at least play an outfield position if necessary.

Texas Rangers: They're in the hunt and prospect Justin Smoak is struggling a bit and I think they're done with Chris Davis as an option.

Anaheim Angels: They lost Morales of course, but hope to get him back in September.

Ryan Theriot

Right, who the hell would want him? Well he's cheap and can play 2b or SS and when he does get hot, he has his uses.

Phillies: I see it as more of a utility role and back-up for Jimmy Rollins if he keeps having leg issues.

Mets: I think they just benched Luis Castillo, doubtful though.

Tigers: Adam Everett is their shortstop and the Cubs and Tigers seem to value the same type of players. This is the team that traded for Neifi.

Ted Lilly

A left-handed starter will always be in demand.  Cardinals, Reds, Tigers, Angels,  Rangers, Phillies, Mets, Nationals,  Dodgers to name a few. 

Aramis Ramirez

Other than him not hitting and no one would want him right now, he also gets his 2012 option guaranteed if he's traded. The Angels have a need at 3b as do the Tigers and the deep pockets to afford his contract if he does start to turn it around.

Kosuke Fukudome

He hits like a center fielder, but plays right field and has quite a bit owed to him next year. As I suggested earlier, if the Cubs pay for the rest of 2010, maybe someone will take his 2011 contract. Of course, he also needs to waive his NTC and apparently needs his Japanese hitting coach blankie with him at all times to be effective.

Rangers: Cruz keeps going on the DL and Borbon isn't doing much, but they do have David Murphy.

Padres: Doubtful they take on any salary at this point, but don't have much going for them in the outfield and had liked Fukudome when the Cubs signed him, although that was a different GM.

Giants: Rowand is slumping bad and guess it depends if Andres Torres can keep up a mid 800 OPS.

Alfonso Soriano

He's hitting, but they'll be worries that he'll slump like 2009 or needs Jamarillo around to hit. I can't think of anyone that would be willing to absorb any of his contract at this point except maybe the Giants.

Carlos Zambrano

I'm sure whatever loyalty he felt to the Cubs has evaporated with his trips to the bullpen. Of course, he'll need to pitch well now that he's back in the rotation for anyone to even consider it. Teams will wait out the Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt situations first.

Dodgers, Angels, Tigers, Mets, Nationals

Of course, injuries may befall some pennant hopefuls and that could open up the trade market. Lilly, Lee, Nady and Theriot are the most likely trading chips that the Cubs will move as they have the least amount of future burden for another team.


"Given last night's call & other recent events, I will examine our umpiring system...use of instant replay & all other related features." but not overturning call, at least not today.

Trembley likely fired by tomorrow, Juan Samuel likely to take over.

I know the Cubs have been a disappointment so far, but I just think it is too early to be talking about giving up on the season. A season by the way that is only 1/3 over. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I'm encouraged by the fact that they are only 6.5 games out of the division lead despite the fact that their # 3 & 4 hitters have been horrible. If/when they come around, things will look a lot better. Of course, they need to turn things around quickly to make their efforts meaningful to the team this year. Remember, the Cubs are chasing the Reds and the Cardinals. Neither team is exactly a juggernaut. If the standings look like they do now (or worse) at the end of June, then I'll consider jumping on your bandwagon. But for now, it's just too early.

Hey Rob, don't have time to read the replies, but Lee should (will?) be gone, and I'd love to see them unload soriano for a ham sammich. I love your picking up 2010 idea, and I think that's a legit chance. 2 questions/comments for the group-- Byrd's working hard to make us love him and I think he's got me won over (despite his shaky D). Thoughts? Lilly's been the de facto ace of this rotation nearly his whole time here, I wouldn't be heartbroken for Jim to give him another (preferably not overblown) contract, despite his age.......

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In reply to by Tony S.

I hate Byrd's swing, not that that means much. But what does mean something, I think, is that he's going to live and die by contact--discipline, speed and really power are not big parts of his game, and his D in CF is average at best (I think, even though I know some commentators disagree). I'd gladly trade him if the Cubs can get something useful in return. I'd rather trade Fukudome or Soriano if the Cubs can rid themselves of significant payroll by making one of those deals, and then I'd let Tyler Colvin take over in CF and move Byrd to one of the vacated positions. I'd trade as many of Byrd, Fukudome, and Soriano as possible, really, and give playing time to Colvin, Fuld, and Brad Snyder along with whoever else warrants it and/or whoever the Cubs got in return in a trade. I dont' see Soriano moving to 1B. That has the potential to be a disaster. Trading Ramirez now could be extremely difficult. The Cubs would have to get a 3rd baseman in return or sign one in the offseason (surviving with Tracy/Fontenot/Baker there for the rest of the season). Vitters is not taking over 3B in 2011. Trading Lilly seems like the surest bet right now, followed by Nady and/or Lee. And I agree with Rob that offering Lee and Lilly arbitration is no problem, and shouldn't be for most other teams either, which should only add to their trade value.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

16. Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are very hard to predict, as some rumors have them focusing on tooly upside high school talent like Stetson Allie and Justin O'Conner, but there's also pressure from above to get something that can help quickly. After McGuire, Ohio State's Alex Wimmers is arguably the most polished college arm, and his plus fastball, average curve, and plus-plus change is a combination that could rocket through the minors.
Pick: Alex Wimmers, RHP, Ohio State
below that it says Twins are high on Wimmers so it must be a good pick.

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In reply to by Rob G.

ah, money. hell of a talent, imo. he's one of those kids who's father produced a baseball player. he had the dad that made him do things left handed and eventually learn to switch hit...all that crap. fun. hell, at least it'll pay off even if his father took over his youth... hits well, understands the mechanics of hitting very well, decent D at 3rd with a good arm...throws low 90s off the mound with an advanced curve, though it's doubtful anyone will take him for a pitcher...

here's BP's writeup on Az Phil's draft catching recommendation...I believe Phil was thinking 2nd round but BP projects him at the end of 1st. 31. Tampa Bay Rays: If the Rays go big at 17, they could end up playing it safe with their second first-round selection. Canadian catcher Kellin Deglan has been rumored in many first-round slots as a pre-draft deal for some of the more conservative selections, but he's still a premium talent with athleticism, a plus arm, and good power potential. If he doesn't go here, it's unlikely he'll get past 34, where the Blue Jays would love to add a Canadian player to the mix. Pick: Kellin Deglan, C, R.E. Mountain Secondary School (B.C., Canada)

I talked with someone who played with Tyler Colvin at Clemson, and he said that Colvin was a good defensive 1st baseman (he played 1B in HS), and that the only reason he was moved to LF was to take advantage of his speed and athleticism. So if D-Lee gets moved sometime this season, or just isn't brought back in 2011, Colvin could replace him at 1B. Of course there will be a strong temptation to move Alfonso Soriano to 1B if there is an opening there, but think about how many throwing errors he would add to the other Cubs infielders, not to mention the dropped infield pop ups.

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In reply to by Arizona Phil

I had read that Colvin could play 1B as well and have always felt if D. Lee is not re-signed (more than likely) or traded during 2010 (hope, hope), then Colvin could go to 1B which puts another LH bat in the lineup. 53 games into this mess, I wish they could unload Lee, Fukudome, Zambrano, Soriano, and just about anybody else. Then build your core around Castro, Colvin, Soto, Dempster, Wells, Cashner, Marmol, and Marshall......and (hopefully) Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson, Vitters, and Carpenter in the very near future. But then, I'm tired of overpaid has-been's being managed/coached by a disinterested, soon-to-be-retiree. Pretty much why I've been watching more high school baseball and college baseball this year.

4 Sb's off him in the first 3 innings including 3b three times.

Deadspin has some video of Bryce Harper getting ejected from the JUCO world series. Can't really blame the kid, the ump called him out on a strike about 3 foot off the plate and he demonstrated to the ump where the strikezone should be, lol.

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In reply to by MikeC

He's doing everything he can to let everyone know he's a headcase, isn't he? That pitch was closer to the batter's box line than to home plate - but he probably showed up the umpire earlier and was paying the price for it. Kevin Goldstein on Harper:
It's impossible to find any talent evaluator who isn't blown away by Harper's ability on the field, but it's equally difficult to find one who doesn't genuinely dislike the kid. One scout called him among the worst amateur players he's ever seen from a makeup standpoint, with top-of-the-scale arrogance, a disturbingly large sense of entitlement, and on-field behavior that includes taunting opponents.

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In reply to by The Real Neal

"but he probably showed up the umpire earlier and was paying the price for it." Nice job of assuming stuff straight out of your ass. If i get called out on a pitch about 3 foot off the plate i wouldn't have been as calm as Bryce Harper was in that video. It was a bullshit call, and he knew it and he had fun with it, instead of blowing his lid and getting in a 5 minute shouting match with the ump. It was pretty obvious the Ump was trying to show up a 17 year old kid. Thats the pathetic part of the video, that the umpire couldn't even do his job right and had to resort to that to get him out.

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In reply to by MikeC

People in houses of toilet paper, shouldn't throw bullshit. Look at my speculation - a known punk gets a really bad call against him, probably in retribution for previous punk-like behavior. Look at your assumption "It was pretty obvious the Ump was trying to show up a 17 year old kid. " Why would the ump want to show him up, because he was bored? In every level of the game, doing what Harper did would get you ejected. It didn't look like he was "having fun with it" - where did you get that from?

Maybe you would have been happier with a temper tantrum ala Milton Bradley? Spitting on umpires, attacking them? The fact is Harper is going to get his fair share of shit no matter how he reacted. His reaction to an obvious bullshit call was pretty tame, he drew the ump a line and walked away. He could have bitched and complained and went on a tizzy fit and really earned his ejection and status. Is he my favorite amateur player? Hell no, but i am excited to see what he can do. Bobby Cox is the most ejected manager in the history of baseball. Does that make him a bad seed, a horrible person? Bryce Harper got ejected from a baseball game because an ump made a horrible call. And for that he is SATAN!

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In reply to by MikeC

Is that what happened, your Milton Bradley gag reflex got set off? How is it that you hated Milton Bradley so much before he ever came to the Cubs, but after reading "It's impossible to find any talent evaluator who (sic) doesn't genuinely dislike the kid." you come up with "am excited to see what he can do"? If he's showing up umpires at age 17 in juco playoffs, a lot of people are going to be excited to see what he does next. You have to really like that team-first attitude he displayed, getting suspended for the remainder of the season. What does he care? He's going to get $7 million next week.

Sports media has been gushing over Milton Bradley's success since returning from one of his annual mid-season vacations.
Bradley's resurgence powering offense MLB.com - Rhett Bollinger - ‎May 29, 2010‎ Milton Bradley's Mind Is Clear and His Bat Is Hot New York Times Bradley comfortable in cleanup spot MLB.com - Mike McCall - ‎May 26, 2010‎ Franklin Gutierrez's leadoff single off a full-count pitch might've been the harbinger, but Perry regrouped to strike out hot-hitting Milton Bradley.
Wow. Great. Sounds like Uncle Milty has really turned it around, right? So I took a look at his numbers since returning.... 55 PA's .235 .273 .294 .567 not to mention a negative WPA I guess that's "hot" on Mars where Bradley comes from, but ...WTF?

Brett Anderson supposedly done for the year. Ted Lilly would look might fine in, uh, green... er, yellow ... that is, white shoes. Does Oakland have anyone worth coveting?

Was mentioned in Baseball America's hot prospects (team photo section). "Cubs RHP Chris Archer (Cubs) has all but shut out opponents in the two starts since posting the unique line of 3 innings, 3 hits, 5 earned runs. The high Class A Daytona righthander limited Jupiter to just one hit over six shutout innings on May 28. Archer, 21, followed that up on Monday with a four-hit, one-run outing in a victory against Charlotte, improving his overall record to 3-1, 3.47 with 55 strikeouts and 21 walks in 49 innings. Quite impressively, Archer has given up just 15 hits and 12 walks over 35 innings since the start of May." http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-hot-sheet/2010/…

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