Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers Preview, Thursday 6/7, 1:10 CT

Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum and infielder Adrian Cardenas walk in after batting practice before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

I don't usually write a lot about trade rumors. Most of them turn out to be untrue. But it's clear, particularly after reading this from Cubs GM Jed Hoyer:

"We've already started talking to teams," Hoyer said. "Teams work on dual tracks this time of year. But even the last couple of days, those calls will pick up. It's such a jumbled (playoff) race right now.

"That'll shake out a little bit over the next six to eight weeks, and as it does teams will be more active. We'll be on the phones. … That's what the focus is going to be now."

... that the Cubs are going to be sellers, and fairly soon. So I thought I'd break down the current 25-man roster into some categories. Granted, there could be other players from the 40-man roster, or even deeper in the system, included in deals, but let's focus on current major league players.

Players the Cubs should keep because they could be part of the next contending team:

Starlin Castro, Jeff Samardzija, Matt Garza, Steve Clevenger, James Russell, Travis Wood

Note, I am not saying you couldn't trade any or all of those players IF the right deal came along. But all of them are young enough and talented enough that they could play on a playoff contender, surrounded by a better group of other players. I wouldn't say anyone on this team is "untouchable".

Players the Cubs should be looking to deal:

Ryan Dempster, Reed Johnson, Randy Wells, Shawn Camp, Carlos Marmol, Darwin Barney, Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair

Some of those players, obviously, are more tradeable than others, for various reasons. I put Barney on the list because his value might never be higher (as of this morning, he ranked sixth in the NL in WAR). Soriano, too, could have trade value, even if the Cubs have to eat 90% of the contract. LaHair could be a "sell high" kind of guy, although he might also be worth keeping.

Players who probably can't be dealt because of their contract status:

Paul Maholm, David DeJesus

Both of these men are under contract through 2013. Neither is making that much, but it's doubtful a contending team would send much in return, because neither is a rent-a-player.

Players with little or no trade value:

Jairo Asencio, Casey Coleman, Koyie Hill, Jeff Baker, Adrian Cardenas, Ian Stewart, Tony Campana, Joe Mather

There's one man I couldn't fit into any of these categories: Manuel Corpas. He's probably not tradeable, but he might have some value, if he can pitch the way he did on Wednesday night. He's got MLB closing experience, and isn't that old (29). For now, I suspect the Cubs keep him, since they have almost no reliable relievers.

Cubs lineup:

Johnson RF, Barney 2B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Baker 1B, Mather CF, Stewart 3B, Hill C, Garza P

Brewers lineup was not available at posting time.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Matt Garza
Matt Garza
Cubs
vs. Randy Wolf
Randy Wolf
Brewers
2-4 W-L 2-5
4.10 ERA 6.05
55 SO 35
20 BB 26
8 HR 6
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Matt Garza 2-4 10 10 0 0 0 0 59.1 48 28 27 8 20 55 4.10 1.15


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2012 - Randy Wolf 2-5 12 11 0 0 0 0 61.0 78 43 41 6 26 35 6.05 1.70

Matt Garza and Randy Wolf matched up in this wacky game on May 11 at Miller Park; it went 13 innings and featured a run scoring on a dropped third strike, two scoreless innings by a pitcher who is now retired, Zack Greinke pinch-hitting (he hit into a double play), appearances in the game by three other Cubs pitchers who aren't on the team any more (less than a month later), nearly half of David DeJesus' season RBI... need I go on?

Garza and Wolf actually both pitched fairly well. Wolf threw six shutout innings. Garza gave up just one run in five, although he issued five walks and had to be taken out after 93 pitches.

Let's hope today's game is half as entertaining as that one was. (And no, I never have quite figured out what Wolf is looking at in that photo.)

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. Be careful over there, as always.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 1:10 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 2:10, 3:10 and 3:55 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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