I got this e-mail earlier in the week. It was well thought out so I asked him if I could post it. I don’t agree with a lot of it, mainly because teams are pretty reluctant to trade top prospect type guys like Dominic Brown, but it’s a fun piece to read regardless of what you think. I’d particularly like your feedback on the shape of the roster he includes at the end. Thanks to Ben for taking the time to write. (Note: The e-mail came in before the Phillies made a deal with Houston to bring in Roy Oswalt)

Here are some ideas I have been tossing around:

1. Big Z, Lee, Baker to the Mets, Oliver Perez, Castillo, and Ike Davis to the Cubs.

The Cubs would love to dump Big Z.  They aren’t going to offer Lee arbitration, so sending him away now makes sense.  I think the Mets would love to get rid of those 2 contracts, and get actual talent in return.  Davis is a decent young 1B, and a left handed hitter at that.  Getting him, plus getting out of Big Z 2012 salary, makes the deal worth it for the Cubs.  We aren’t going to be good in 2011 anyway, so holding some dead money doesn’t hurt us.

2.  Kouske and Marshall to the Red Sox for Lowell.

Getting out of Kouske’s contract for next year should be a priority.  This is one option.  I have seen the rumors for Scott Downs, and the asking price.  Given that Marshall is younger and cheaper, and possibly better, I think the Sox would be willing to take on 13 million next year.  I hate to give away players, but by the time the Cubs are good, Marshall will be arb eligible, and making way more money.  Lowell could play against tough lefties at 1B for this year, and back up Aram.

3.  Byrd to the Braves for Kris Medlen and Jordan Schafer.

Braves need a good CF, and Byrd fits the bill.  Schafer is not usable for the Braves, and still might be a good 4th OF.  Medlen would slot right into the 2011 rotation for the Cubs.

4.  Lilly, Marmol, and Fontenont to the Phillies for Dominic Brown and a low level prospect.

Not sure if the Phillies give him up, but this would at least make them think about it.  This gives them a good 3rd starter behind Hamels and Halladay, and an 8th inning guy or closer to fill in for Lidge.  Font can play 3rd with Polanco and 2nd till Utley comes back, and is better than what the Phils have on the bench.

5. Silva and Theriot to the Tigers for Casey Crosby.

If the Tigers view themselves as out of it, then they won’t deal.  However, for both teams, this deal makes sense.  Cubs get out of 2011 salary for both Theriot and Silva, and get a decent pitching prospect.

So for 2011, Cubs lineup:

C    Soto
1B  Davis
2B  Castillo
SS  Castro
3B  Aram
LF  Soriano
CF  Brown
RF  Colvin

Not a bad lineup.  Clearly some holes, but some decent speed, good power, and L/R balance.

Starting Rotation

Dempster
Gorzelanny
Wells
Medlen
Cashner

No ace, but good young talent, and no real terrible starter.  Lots of upside.

Given the Cubs farm system, plus players coming back in trades, and the expiring contracts of Castillo, Perez, and Aram after 2011, the Cubs could be a top team in 2012.

Thanks for reading,

Ben

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail