Blog Entry

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

Posted on: June 24, 2011 8:02 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:25 pm

By Evan Brunell

The Cubs are gearing up for trade season, as GM Jim Hendry and his staff plan to determine the team's future leading up to the trade deadline. The Chicago Tribune says that Chicago will start taking bids on overpriced or underachieving players, as Hendry continues his third rebuild, although he could be out of a job once the season ends.

With those parameters in mind, who could the Cubs deal?

Kosuke Fukudome, right fielder
Original contract:
4 years, $48 million
Contract remaining (includes 2011):
1 year, $13.5 million

Fukudome is enjoying his most productive season and has gotten better with each of his four years in the majors. He's playing center field on Friday for the first time since 2009, which tells you the Cubs are trying to keep his bat in the lineup. He still doesn't hit for much power, but that doesn't matter when you have a .400 OBP. Even better is the fact he is no longer a platoon player against left-handed pitching.

Chance of being traded: Fukudome has never really seemed to fit in Chicago, although his disappointing production to start is partly to blame. The Cubs project to have an Alfonso Soriano - Brett Jackson - Marlon Byrd outfield next season, so Fukudome would appear to be the odd man out. There are several teams in demand of an outfielder and it will be hard to do much worse than Fukudome in production, salary and cost to acquire.

John Grabow, reliever
Original contract:
2 years, $7.5 million
Contract remaining: 1 year, $4.8 million

For a team rebuilding, do they really need a reliever tasked with getting left-handers out -- but isn't? Grabow's contract is obviously not a hindrance, but his performance this season isn't up to par. While he's still getting lefties out at a better clip than righties, he hasn't exactly been a lockdown reliever. In 31 innings, Grabow has walked 11 and whiffing 16, posting up a 4.94 ERA and 4.79 xFIP.

Chance of being traded: Grabow isn't getting the job done overall or against left-handers, and the contract is hefty for his (lack of) production.

Carlos Pena, first baseman
Original contract:
1 year, $10 million

Pena isn't really underachieving thanks to his power production, nor is his contract prohibitive, but a .220 batting average is disappointing even if it represents a 24-point increase over 2010. By trading Pena, the Cubs could give Tyler Colvin an extended shot at playing time in the second half, plus gear up for possible runs at Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. There are teams out there that would welcome Pena's 14 bombs and .350 OBP.

Chance of being traded: Pena will probably stay, as none of the clear contenders other than the Angels appear to have any interest or need of a first baseman. If Washington somehow stays hot and inserts itself in the postseason race, they could use Pena as Adam LaRoche is now lost for the season due to injury. Washington actually coveted Pena over LaRoche, but the former Ray opted for Chicago.

Aramis Ramirez, third baseman
Original contract:
5 years, $75 million
Contract remaining: 1 year, $14.6 million, plus $16 million club option ($2 million buyout)

Ramirez has a no-trade clause and has already said he won't allow a trade out of Chicago, but he could always change his tune based on where he would be traded or just by flat-out changing his mind. After all, as Alfonso Soriano said recently, why would you block a trade if the team wants you out? Ramirez had a brutal first half last season before recovering in the second half. He hasn't been much better this season.

Chance of being traded: Unless a team is really desperate and the Cubs agree to cover the buyout plus some of his current deal (fat chance), Ramirez is staying.

Alfonso Soriano, left field
Original contract:
8 years, $136 million
Contract remaining: 4 years, $72 million

Soriano's 2009 is looking more and more like an aberration -- at least for now. That's good, but he still hasn't reached the level of play he flashed in his first two years with the Cubs. The 35-year-old is a liability on defense, is showing regression in plate discipline without much difference in contact levels and is just overall a massive risk for a team to take on.

Chance of being traded: Unless Soriano is part of another bad contract trade (for Barry Zito?), he's going to be finishing out his deal. How this contract is going to look in two years is a scary thought.

Carlos Zambrano, starting pitcher
Original contract:
5 years, $91.5 million
Contract remaining: 2 years, $38.875 million, plus $19.25 million vesting player option

Out of all the players on the list, Zambrano looks the most appetizing. Unfortunately, it's almost by default. Big Z has just one year after this remaining on his deal and it's a long shot he will get that player option to vest as he has to finish in the top four of Cy Young Award voting next season to trigger it. But as everyone knows, he's quite a hothead and is too erratic and inconsistent in his pitching. His 4.50 ERA won't draw any fans, although he's always capable of ripping off a dominating stretch as everyone witnessed in his final 11 starts of 2010.

Chance of being traded: Teams are always in need of pitching, so Zambrano might be able to find a new home by July 31. The odds are that he stays and is part of the rumor mill during the offseason.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:55 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:33 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:07 am

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 2:29 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

Will you be publishing your own posts? Or acquiring them from virtually every single other sources?

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:37 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

I fully agree with UNforgiven Barney needs to stay at 2B the hell with Furcal he is another mistake if the Cubs were to sign him hes too brittle a player and we already have enuf of those . Barney and Castro are the only 2 bright spots in the current roster and yes they both have and still are making rookie mistakes but given playing time the mistake should start to disappear.  Barney only downside that I see is his age a 28yr old, if a remember correctly rookie. But for a short term fix hes the man at 2B in my book at least until they clear alot of the BAD contracts off the books and can afford to pay for better. BUT in the short term 2B is the least of the Cubs worries as far as IM conserned.

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:24 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

OK I freely admit I am NOT up on the contract rules and so forth, so take it easy on me with the reponses PLEASE.

BUT what would happen if the CUBS outright cut some of these players  would they still be on the hook for their contracts? or for that matter demote them to Triple A team??? Or for that matter can they do a BUYOUT of the contract like in some other sports at a reduced rate? ANY way they can eliminate some of the payroll burden at least for the long term outlook even if they cant do anything for the short term????

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:14 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

so CUBS fans or should i say 1 in particular wnats to move soriano back to 2B sign 35 year old furcal for 2B ..have you not watched darwin barney play 2B this season?..he is 1 of only 2 bright spots you have an dyou wanna get rid of him..typical...

Since: Jun 25, 2011
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:45 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

Hope we go after some young talented pitchers, or get a big bat in a deal. Our pitching staff could use some work, even though it will help a lot when Andrew Cashner comes back.

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: June 25, 2011 10:16 am

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

Being a die hard Cubs fan, I really liked the content of this story.   The conclusion is simple – the Flubs don’t have tradable players unless they eat significant salary or pick up an equally bad contract.  These are both options I don’t suggest.   Barry Zito is not an option.

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios:

Let the contract expire:   A-Ram ($14.6MM), Fuk-u-do-me ($13.5MM), Gabrow ($4.8MM), and Pena ($10MM).   Total $ freed up:  $42.9MM.   

Ride the Storm out: 
   Move Soriano back to the infield.  Your options are 1B, 2B, and 3B.  Personally, I would put him at 2B, unless you could sign Furcal in free agency.   Soriano’s offense looks a lot more appealing as a second baseman than a left fielder.  As PT Barnum said, “a sucker is born every minute”.   Hopefully the Cubs find that sucker with an offensive minded second baseman.  If not, you have your second baseman through 2014.

Hope for a bucket of balls:
Zambrano and Byrd. Byrd’s contract runs through 2012 and someone my want him. Don’t expect a lot back. Same
with Zambrano. My question is how did he and Larry Rothchild get along? The Yankees are going to need pitching and the have financial resources to take on a contract of that size. 

Free Agency Outlook:
  The top three FA are Fielder, Pujols, and Reyes.   Stay away from all three.  They will be over priced for a team that is
rebuilding.   I would take a look at short term deals on the following players.  

Shortstops:  Rafael Furcal LAD move to 2B

Outfielders:   Mike Cameron BOS, Johnny Damon TB


Projected 2012 lineup:

1B     &nb
sp; Colvin
2B     &nb
sp; Furcal
SS     &nb
sp;  Castro
3B     &nb
sp; Soriano
LF     &nb
sp; Damon
CF     &nb
sp; Byrd
RF     &nb
sp; Cameron
C     &nbs
p;   Soto

Conclusion:  Be patient and use good discipline.   The rebuilding process will take a few years.    The Cubs need to start drafting better and selectively take advantage of free agency.    Remember they wanted Milton Bradley over Adam Dunn a few years ago.

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2011 11:34 pm

With rebuild on way, who could Cubs trade?

@Chicagos_Fan...Didn't you just read the article?  The point was how untradeable all these contracts are (that Hendry created).  The Cubs are temporarily screwed when it comes to the bad contracts.  Nobody is out there clamoring to pay Soriano MVP-type $ for the next 4 years.  None of these guys will be dealt for real prospects.  The only chance we have to unload any of these guys is to take on someone else's bad deal (like we did with Milton Bradley) and pay a decent portion of what is left on the current bad deal.

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