Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Now the the calendar has flipped to July and we are all soaking up the heat from the hot, hot sun it is time for the baseball trade talks to heat up as well. The July 31st trade deadline is weeks away but that time will come and go in an instant. And the debates on who from your favorite team will be dealt and for what in return.
Some teams have already struck deals with the White Sox landing Kevin Youkilis for their much needed hole at third base. The Orioles went for added power in getting DH Jim Thome from the Phillies. Houston traded today Carlos Lee to the Marlins to fill that void at first base. The next person could be you if your not careful.
Thome's power will be welcomed in Baltimore.
Teams in both leagues will be looking to add either a closer, an experienced reliever, a starting pitcher, a power bat, and or a utility player that can play multiple positions.
This year is especially difficult to decipher due to having added more wild card teams to the mix. If you are Team X and are within striking distance of a coveted playoff spot then there might be more buyers this year. Teams that are looking to sell could find themselves in better shape with where the market is.
I am really looking forward to the next few weeks as my Chicago Cubs will hopefully be big players in the trading game. The Cubs have plenty of players of which can be had for the right price. Heck just about any player on this team should be available to help stock our depleted farm system.
You have to tear it down before you can build it back up. I believe in the plan Theo has in place. I am just glad to finally HAVE a plan for the Cubs. To many years without one. Yeah we have had some good seasons in the past decade but just like LeBron it don't mean anything without that ring.
The Cubs have a group of players for which I believe are most coveted by other teams. It all starts with their starting rotation.
It is not a secret that Ryan Dempster will most likely be moved to someone. He has been solid this season and just hasn't had the luck from the team or bullpen to cash in on more victories. He eats innings and when you are in a pennant race late in the season the less you use your bullpen the better. He is on the DL right now but people and pitchers have been dealt on the DL before (Jake Peavy).
Could be the final glove flip-flap in a Cubs uni for Dempster?
It would be nice to get some young arms in return and I would expect him to stay in the National League. The Cubs will most likely eat most of his salary to end the year.
The Cubs other starting pitcher Matt Garza is also well sought after. I think there are plenty of teams in the AL East that would love to add Mr. Garza to their rotation. Especially his old team the Tampa Bay Rays. He is young at 28 and does have good stuff. Getting some quality young talent out of the Rays farm system that has been soooo good the past few years would be golden.
The next most likely to be moved is someone Cubs fans have wanted gone for some time. Alfonso Soriano. His value will never be any higher than it is right now. He has been great this past month or so and his numbers are pretty good at .270, 15hr, 46rbi. I know he could help an American League team in a DH role. His defense is, heck he doesn't play defense so his role will have to be purely offensive.
I will say he carried the Cubs those first few years of his tenure here and we wouldn't have made the playoffs without him. Maybe he can catch lightning in a bottle for a contender and who knows? The return from teams won't be any top prospect but getting him out so a younger player can develop in the majors would be worth it. And the Cubs will eat his salary for breakfast, lunch, and dinner unfortunately cause no other team will touch that mess. Not even the Yanks.
The Cubs have another player that unfortunately we weren't able to trade a year ago. You have to strike while the iron is hot and Carlos Marmol's value has plummeted to depths unknown. He was one of the best closers in years past and his ability to strike out opponents was amazing. His control now rivals that of Nuke LaLoosh and he doesn't quite have Crash Davis as his battery mate now does he. It would just be nice to again move a veteran player for something in return so another young player can gain much needed experience.
Nuke & Crash...describes Marmol's control to a tee.
The Cubs can do this also with their role players they have now. Teams constantly look at this time for "fits" to their team to complete the puzzle. It doesn't always need to be the big name. Actually you will probably see more middle the road to just off the road players traded than the alternative. Guys like Jeff Baker or Reed Johnson are perfect examples of the kind of player who could be dealt. They don't bring a great deal in return but teams value their experience and having someone like that to insert in a line-up or bring off the bench in key situations eases a managers mind.
It also lets those players actually play for something rather than just play out the schedule.
This is where the Cubs are now and in the next few years. The building process will take time and I am in it for the long haul. I hope the rest of the fan base is as patient. The last championship was 1908 and to this point nothing else has worked. Finishing second or dead last you still didn't win the World Series and that is the ultimate goal.
There will be many losses ahead and many headaches along the way.
Lets just hope Theo's plan is the remedy.
Posted by WGCY Newsroom at 9:21 PM