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The Matt Szczur Question

Keep him, or trade him?

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — As I’ve noted here previously, the last spot on the Cubs’ 25-man Opening Day roster appears to be a choice between Matt Szczur and Tommy La Stella.

Szczur is out of options and there’s no question he would be claimed if exposed to waivers. He could start for a number of teams, at least in a platoon role.

TLS has options remaining and could be sent to Triple-A Iowa. According to this Tribune article, La Stella would accept a demotion:

La Stella, who was placed on the temporary inactive list for 18 days last August after declining to report to Triple-A Iowa, has assured team officials he would accept his assignment if he doesn't make the opening day roster.

So that’s a point in TLS’ favor, and he likely knows he’d be back at some point during the season. That article also states the Cubs have been shopping Szczur:

Two major-league sources confirmed Saturday the Cubs are trying to trade Szczur, who is out of minor-league options and could be claimed on waivers if he does not make their opening day roster.

I’ve made my preference known before. The Cubs have plenty of positional flexibility and could carry Szczur, who is a good clubhouse guy and who can play all three outfield positions, without jeopardizing that flexibility.

In this CSN Chicago article, Joe Maddon lays out how he feels about this:

"When you get this kind of a talent, depth-wise, it's a wonderful problem to have," Maddon said. "And then, of course, the rules start creeping in. The rules in this situation would benefit Matt, which is a good thing, because he's a big-league guy that's been riding the shuttle. He's done it in a very stoic manner, and he's been great for us."

"Matt Szczur, to me, is a Major League Baseball player," Maddon said. "You're seeing what Tommy can do from the left side of the plate right now. And then it's just a matter of balancing things out. We've already mentioned that some guys on the infield can play the outfield within this group, thus it presents differently regarding what you need."

It’s hard to read Joe sometimes, but those quotes — to me — seem to indicate Maddon is leaning toward wanting to keep Szczur, especially since that would mean the Cubs could still have TLS ready at Iowa in case they need him.

Further, while Szczur does have value, his trade value is probably not that great. I wouldn’t think he’d bring (at least in a trade of just him) much more than a mid-level minor-league pitcher, and in my view he provides more value than that to the big-league team.

So once again, what would you do in this situation?


What should the Cubs do in the Matt Szczur/Tommy La Stella situation?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Trade Szczur, keep La Stella
    (228 votes)
  • 84%
    Keep Szczur, send La Stella to Iowa
    (1603 votes)
  • 3%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (73 votes)
1904 votes total Vote Now