View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



May 2017



Trade On the Horizon?

Written by , Posted in General

I don’t think anyone here will argue, the Cubs starting pitching has been sucking this year.  The emergence of Eddie Butler is encouraging, but one start does not a season make.  And even if Butler does work out, this is not a winning post-season rotation.  The guy who won the Cubs TWO World Series Games last year has a 5.44 ERA.  Kyle Hendricks looks to be coming around, but John Lackey has been spotty as has Jon Lester.

So for the sake of this column let’s say the Cubs are in the market for a good young starter.  Where do they get him, and what do they give up?

I say they go after Chris Archer (signed through 2022) and offer Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber in exchange.  I know these guys were integral pieces in the Championship run last year, but I also think that they’re 2017 performance to date has probably softened the fan base’s attachment to them.  Personally, I love them both (Schwarbs more than Baez) but it’s clear the Cubs have to do something.  This current jambalaya lineup is a mess.  And it’s not working.  When you’re winning odd lineups get called “eccentric” and “quirky.”  But when you’re losing they simply become stupid, and moronic.

It might be overpaying to give Tampa Bay both of those guys for Archer, so maybe they throw in somebody decent in the deal.  I dunno.

This would free up the Cubs to bring up Ian Happ and put him and Ben Zobrist in a 2B/LF rotation, or whatever, and solidify every other position.

It would sting to see these guys in another team’s uniform, but at least in sending them to Tampa we could be reassured that we’ll probably never face them in the postseason.

What do you think?

  • Doc Raker

    KAPS and Len for Archer, let’s see if we can pull that off.

    I bet Thed has a list of pitchers they are looking at and Happ and Candelerio are getting good looks from trade suitors.

  • Buddy

    I think I would pass on the Archer for Baez and Schwarber trade scenario. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs take a shot at fellow Tampa Bay Ray Jake Odorizzi. He is a solid, durable starter who is only 27 and won’t be a free agent until 2020. And perhaps most importantly, he won’t cost them Baez and Schwarber in a trade.

  • Junior Von White

    As painful as it is, I think Schwarber needs to go. I think he will be a great player, but he does not really fit anywhere for the Cubs. When he is in left field, he cannot afford to have offensive slumps; offense is his only real contribution. Send him somewhere where he can be a 1B/DH. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Baez or Zobrist go. 2B needs to be freed up for one of them. Zobrist is not an outfielder, he is a second baseman. Put him at second or trade him to a team that can. I think the Cubs could get a lot from 2 out of these 3 guys, and whoever they get should be a guy that makes an immediate impact on the team.

    Our offense is struggling, yes, but pitching and defense win championships. We won last year because we had the best pitching and defense, and that carried our offense through its struggles. I would like to see the pitching get solidified one way or another, either by trading for an impact guy, or just by the starting rotation pitching like they should.

    I would like to see a defensive lineup of Almora, Heyward, and Jay in the outfield, and Rizzo-1B, Zobrist/Baez-2B, Russel-SS, Bryant-3B, Contreras-C. Please, just play everyone at the position where they became professionals. Remember when McCutcheon got moved from center to right and that was kind of big deal? For the Cubs we just move people around like musical chairs and no one bats an eye. The MVP goes from 3B, to 1B to OF just as an example. Being flexible is good, but only when it is necessary; it seems like we are flexible simply for the sake of being flexible. I think that is weird and has a negative impact on player performance both in the field and at the plate.

    Just curious, does anyone know the best way to statistically quantify the number of runs saved by the defense last year compared to this year? Maybe that has an impact on the starting pitching as well? (Don’t misunderstand, I am not blaming the crappy pitching on our current defense, just curious if it has been adding/how much it has been adding to the problem).

    • Adam Peters

      According to Baseball Reference:

      The 2017 Cubs have +9 defensive runs saved in 37 games for an average of +0.243/game.

      the 2016 version had +95 in 161 games for an average of +.059/game.

      They were over twice as good defensively last year.

      • Junior Von White


      • cap’n realist

        ‘I love advanced metrics.’ Said no one who had sex ever.

      • I think your .059 figure for 2016 should be 0.59 otherwise they really sucked then and are way outperforming themselves this year. Lol.

      • Adam Peters


      • I’d rather see the Cubs play solid defense, make fewer errors, turn more double plays, make solid throws, and take good routes in the outfield.

      • Sherm

        And slide into, but not beyond, bases.

      • cap’n realist

        and wear hilarious jammies to the ballpark…

      • Sherm

        They should have jammie day at the park. Fans could wear jammies. Len and JD could wear jammies. Players could play in a jammie version of their uniforms. It would be epic.

        What kind of jammie do you like, Haps? Strawberry?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        I thought everyone listening to Len was already wearing jammies.

  • Guy Karafa

    I’m in on Baez , anyway. To me , he seems to take his talent for granted. As if he doesn’t need to make any effort other than his natural talent. Not explaining it very well , but hope you see my point.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I’m with you on Baez. I would trade him to open up a spot for Happ. I also would trade Zobrist as he is a short-term piece and not a long-term piece.

    • Eddie Von White

      I see your point and it is correct in my opinion.

  • Sherm

    Speaking of potential trades, I propose the following. Brett Anderson for:

    • We’d be getting too much.

      • Sherm

        We don’t get to KEEP the bag

      • cap’n realist

        Actually, those are Bownet practice balls…a bag that size
        of Rawlings or Wilson balls, Cubs have to give up Anderson AND Duensing.

      • Sherm

        Ok. But the Cubs get to keep the bag then.

      • Bryzzo1744

        I’d rather take a sack of cement to rebuild the park than baseballs.

      • Sherm

        Well it wasn’t an option.

      • Not bad. Javy could weave his arms through the carrying straps and use it as a muff in a pinch. Mitt in main pouch, hands in the pockets between at-bats.

      • cap’n realist

        for those 62 degree nights

      • Sherm

        Leave Javy’s pouch out of this

      • He does love a good muff.

      • If Soler and Castro were still around, we’d need three muff bags and a pallet of spandex Cubs over-the-head turtlenecks.

      • cap’n realist

        Cripes. We’ve even gotten to Lizzie.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I believe the going rate is a couple of broken bats.

      • Sherm

        Anderson hasn’t broken a bat in years

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        That is why the Cubs want the bats, that way they can say Anderson got them some broken bats.

      • Sherm

        You Wisconsin guys. Always thinking.

      • I’ve got two cracked ones in my bat bag already this year.. no thanks.

      • cap’n realist

        hit the ball with the barrel JSwan…lumber is expensive these days

      • Sherm

        “barrel on ball” – Jessica Mendoza

        “barrel not on ball” – Mario Mendoza

        “Who’s Mario Mendoza?” – Kyle Schwarber

        “You’ll find out if you don’t start hitting the fucking ball” – Sherm

      • Eddie Von White

        He heard you.

      • Mario?

  • Sherm

    For now – and this can change because I do that – I’d hang on to Happ because although Len called him the “next Ben Zobrist” I think he has a LOT more power than Zobrist ever had, especially early in his career. And switch hitting power hitters are rare…plus he CAN play the field, so he’s a keeper. To me, as much as I love the guy, Baez is expendable. And it might be good for him to be on a team with a better coaching system. He needs someone to turn him into the superstar he can be. Schwarber’s stock has fallen faster than Sear’s…sure someone would be happy to STEAL him, but I wouldn’t give him away. He still has an upside (note: probably not as a leadoff hitter)

    Russell I keep forever. Same with Bryant. This might surprise some, but I keep Almora long term, because defense up the middle is so important, and he’s stellar. He’ll hit. Give him time. I keep Contreras, too.

    Candelerio. Gone tomorrow if someone wants him. No place for him. Heyward is not going anywhere, and neither is Zobrist, no matter how many times Kaps suggests it.

    There you have it. From somewhere over Macho Grande.

    • Sounds delicious.

    • cap’n realist

      Buddy couldn’t handle it…what happened over Macho Grande.

      • Sherm

        I’ll never get over macho grande

      • Buddy

        Win one for the Zipper.