Well as all of you know, this team plays like crap and the trading deadline is around the corner. We're 10.5 games back and management will have to decide if we're buyers or sellers. I know management doesn't want to become sellers too soon because of the prospect of a serious decrease of attendance and loss of fan support. But the way I look at it, I think attendance would actually get a boost and fans morale would increase if we introduce some new prospects like Brett Jackson, Jay Jackson and Darwin Barney. Not to mention, with this losing record new prospects would get some "low pressure" major league playing time.
Our current lineup right now doesn't produce and is laden with putrid contracts put forward by Jim Hendry. He's horrible at signing free agents, but I do give him credit for his trades. He's made some really damn good moves, like acquiring Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton for nothing, D-Lee for Hee Sop Choi, Rich Harden for three players who've been DFA'd the past month (Patterson, Gallagher & Murton) and Carlos Silva for Milton Bradley. Other than the Juane Pierre trade, Hendry is a stud at trading.
If he expects to keep his job at the end of the year, he better clean up this mess that he created. Hopefully the Cubs roster will go Red, White and BOOM, with a selloff of some of our veterans (I had to do a patriotic pun somewhere) and potentially freeing up some room to bring in fresh faces.
I think a selloff would be beneficial for this organization in the longrun. Below is my ranking of our veteran's trade values based off of the quality of prospects we can get in return. Also posted is a couple comments about each player. I'm leaving our younger players, Ryan Dempster and immovable contracts (Ramierez and Soriano) off the list.
1) Ted Lilly- Lilly has been a stud since joining the Cubs and has to be Hendry's best FA signing. He posted a 3.10 ERA last season and is currently sporting a 3.12 ERA. Being a left hander also increases his value, and I could see him as being the second best SP on the trade market, behind Cliff Lee. I also think Lee's steep asking price could help draw some significant attention to Lilly because teams don't want to sell off the farm to meet the Mariners' demands.
We do have an in-house replacement of Lilly with Gorzelanny doing a solid job as a left handed SP. Lilly could also command a large FA signing at the end of the season, which the Cubs cannot afford.
2) Carlos Silva- I'm sure there's plenty of skeptics out there on whether or not he can perform, but when it's all said and done, he throws strikes, eats up innings and wins ballgames. He's not an ace, but a SP with 1.050 WHIP this season and one year left on his contract would be a good pickup for any contender.
He's had a great season thus far, but "Buy low, sell high."
3) Derrek Lee - He may be difficult to deal because of his NTC, but given the chance to play with a contender he would probably accept a trade. His .708 OPS this season has hurt his trade value, but he has plenty of experience and plenty of pop to potentially turn it around.
I think trading Lee could give the chance for Colvin to possibly get some playing time at first without significantly hurting the team during the learning process. I think Colvin is our replacement for 1B, with Soriano in LF, Jackson in CF and Byrd/Fukodome in RF for next year.
4) Marlon Byrd- Byrd's been all of we can ask for. He's hit for average (.311), had decent power (9 HR), but most importantly has been the person who has gone to work day in and day out with 110% effort. That alone should make him a valuable commodity.
If there's any person on this team who I would hate to see go, it is Byrd. He would be a key veteran to help any potential rookies learn the game the way it should be played.
5) Ryan Theriot - Theriot is your typical average player, but does has some valuable qualities. He leads the team in SB with 15 and has always put up some solid contact. Some teams like the Red Sox could use an infielder to put up some consistent numbers, which Theriot could provide.
Let Darwin Barney get some playing time, he deserves it after performing well at AAA. Also, we have Hak Ju Lee in the system who can arrive in 1-2 years.
This is where trade values go down significantly.
6) Kosukue Fukodome - This guy just can't handle being away from home. He starts off well in the spring each year and declines as the season goes along. Baseball is a game of focus and concentration and Fukodome just can't concentrate while being away from his family for an entire MLB season. However, he only has one year left on his contract after this year and is one of the best defensive RF in the game. He does have some value.
If the Cubs eat at least half his contract, they could possibly move him. But the way I see it, he's a permanent $12 million bench player for the Cubs from the here on out with Byrd, Colvin and Soriano, Nady in front of Fukodome. Even if they eat up 2/3 of his contract, I still think the Cubs could gain from trading him because they NEED TRADE AN OUTFIELDER to make room out there.
7) Carlos Zambrano - He's pitched like shit this year, he can't hit 90 MPH on his fastball, he's a headcase and he's making 18 million a year... He came close to being on the list of untouchable contracts like Soriano or Ramirez, but the Cubs would be willing to trade him at almost any cost. People forget that before 2010, his ERA has been under 4.00 in every season of his career and I think the suspension could actually help his value. He's cooled off, arm is rested and wants to prove himself again. Z is emotional, for good and bad... and I could envision Z coming back with some fire, especially if the Cubs trade him.
The Cubs would most likely have to do a contract swap or eat up half of his contract to trade him. I'd love to see Z go... as it would be the best for both parties.
Let me know what you think...
Should we sell or stay pat?
Who can we trade?
Who could we get in return?
Where's the future of the team?