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Friday

11

July 2014

53

COMMENTS

Who could be the next Cub moved?

Written by , Posted in General

While the fireworks were going off on the 4th of July, the Cubs were making fireworks of their own. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer teamed up with Oakland GM Billy Beane to construct the first massive trade of the year. The Cubs sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for their top two prospects, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with up-and-down pitcher Dan Straily. The Cubs shocked everyone by trading their two biggest chips this early in July, but they aren’t done on the trading market.

There are multiple pieces still left on the roster that can be moved for solid return packages. The Cubs really don’t have any one on their roster that is untradeable. Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jake Arrieta, and Welington Castillo would probably be the closest to that untradeable title. However, the rest of the roster is full of players that can be flipped.

Starting out in the infield, Luis Valbuena is an interesting piece to a contender. Valbuena can play solid defense at third and second while contributing by getting on base. His 11.3 BB% and .334 OPS are both great for a platoon option at second or third, while providing above average defense and 80 grade bat-flipping.  Another infielder that can provide value to a contender is Darwin Barney. Barney, the 2012 Gold Glove award winner at second, doesn’t give much at the plate, but he is one of the best defenders in the game. At the dish this year, Barney is just hitting .224 with a measly .577 OPS. However, as stated above, his value comes from his defense. As a late inning replacement, he can really help out a team in need for that defensive upgrade. With Arismendy Alcantara coming up the last two days and performing quite well at second and at the plate, one of these guys could be on their way out sooner rather than later.

The outfield is much more crowded with names that could be traded. Nate Schierholtz is the name that comes up most often. The right fielder, a free agent at the end of the year, is hitting only .204 on the year with a .566 OPS, but can provide solid defense in right. He is just a half of a year removed from hitting 21 home runs for the Cubs in 2013. A big second half could be in the cards for Schierholtz.  Second player that could be on the move in the Cubs outfield is Chris Coghlan. Brought in on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training this spring, Coghlan has found himself regularly hitting leadoff and playing left or center for the Cubs.  In July, he is catching fire. In 36 at bats this month, he has 14 hits and a 9.3 BB%.  One player that has been mentioned is Junior Lake. This certainly doesn’t seem likely to happen. A change of scenery is said to be the reason Lake’s name has been out on the market. However, the outfielder has not yet completed a full season in the majors and is still relatively young at 24. Lake has had his struggles, only having 16 hits in 93 June and July at bats, therefore his stock is not high at this point.

Shifting to the pitching side, the rotation looks to stand pat. Edwin Jackson doesn’t look like an attractive piece to a contender, with a 5.05 ERA and walking nearly four men per nine. Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta are both cost controlled beyond this year, so both pitchers can be instrumental parts in the competitive Cubs’ teams that hopefully start winning next year. The bullpen has a few pieces that could be moved to help out contenders. The first of these pitchers is left hander Wesley Wright. The lefty was granted free agency by the Rays and signed by the Cubs in December. Wright is in the second year of arbitration, therefore he will have one year of team control beyond this year.  The lefty has been excellent in his 26.1 innings this season. He enters Friday with a sparkling 2.39 ERA and 2.85 FIP. Plus, his LOB% is at 79.7%, meaning he basically leaves 4 out of every 5 men on base, which is the second highest rate of his career.  The second lefty that could be on the move is James Russell. The reliever is the longest tenured Cub, called up in 2010, and one of the most used relievers in baseball over the last two years. Russell, like Wright, is in the second year of arbitration, meaning he is under team control through 2015. The lefty specialist has a reverse split in his 25.1 innings pitched, which means he is better against right handed hitters than left handed hitters. Against righties, he is allowing a microscopic .108 batting average against in 53 at bats against. His ERA is also fantastic at 2.84 through 35 games with a sparkling .203 BABIP against, which is 76 points lower than his career mark. The final bullpen arm that could be moved prior to the July 31st deadline is swing man Carlos Villanueva.  Villanueva is valuable for several reasons. One of these reasons his he is only owed $2.5 million for the rest of the year. Also, he is a free agent at the end of the year and as stated before, he is a swing man. The right hander can come in and make a spot start or be a long reliever in the pen.  Villanueva’s ERA (6.47) is a bit inflated due to a bad month of April, but he is a solid piece for a contender.

As Theo and Jed have actively said after the Samardzija/Hammel trade, this is the last year of being sellers. The Cubs will trade the pieces that aren’t necessarily in the future plans for players that will fit in the competitive window that has become clearer after this trade. The picture has become a lot more visible and 2015 cannot come soon enough for Cubs fans. It is going to be a fun ride. For now, however, there will be more movement by the front office.

While the fireworks were going off on the 4th of July, the Cubs were making fireworks of their own. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer teamed up with Oakland GM Billy Beane to construct the first massive trade of the year. The Cubs sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s for their top two prospects, Addison Russell and Billy McKinney, along with up-and-down pitcher Dan Straily. The Cubs shocked everyone by trading their two biggest chips this early in July, but they aren’t done on the trading market.

There are multiple pieces still left on the roster that can be moved for solid return packages. The Cubs really don’t have any one on their roster that is untradeable. Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, Jake Arrieta, and Welington Castillo would probably be the closest to that untradeable title. However, the rest of the roster is full of players that can be flipped.

Starting out in the infield, Luis Valbuena is an interesting piece to a contender. Valbuena can play solid defense at third and second while contributing by getting on base. His 11.3 BB% and .334 OPS are both great for a platoon option at second or third, while providing above average defense and 80 grade bat-flipping.  Another infielder that can provide value to a contender is Darwin Barney. Barney, the 2012 Gold Glove award winner at second, doesn’t give much at the plate, but he is one of the best defenders in the game. At the dish this year, Barney is just hitting .224 with a measly .577 OPS. However, as stated above, his value comes from his defense. As a late inning replacement, he can really help out a team in need for that defensive upgrade. With Arismendy Alcantara coming up the last two days and performing quite well at second and at the plate, one of these guys could be on their way out sooner rather than later.

The outfield is much more crowded with names that could be traded. Nate Schierholtz is the name that comes up most often. The right fielder, a free agent at the end of the year, is hitting only .204 on the year with a .566 OPS, but can provide solid defense in right. He is just a half of a year removed from hitting 21 home runs for the Cubs in 2013. A big second half could be in the cards for Schierholtz.  Second player that could be on the move in the Cubs outfield is Chris Coghlan. Brought in on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training this spring, Coghlan has found himself regularly hitting leadoff and playing left or center for the Cubs.  In July, he is catching fire. In 36 at bats this month, he has 14 hits and a 9.3 BB%.  One player that has been mentioned is Junior Lake. This certainly doesn’t seem likely to happen. A change of scenery is said to be the reason Lake’s name has been out on the market. However, the outfielder has not yet completed a full season in the majors and is still relatively young at 24. Lake has had his struggles, only having 16 hits in 93 June and July at bats, therefore his stock is not high at this point.

Shifting to the pitching side, the rotation looks to stand pat. Edwin Jackson doesn’t look like an attractive piece to a contender, with a 5.05 ERA and walking nearly four men per nine. Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta are both cost controlled beyond this year, so both pitchers can be instrumental parts in the competitive Cubs’ teams that hopefully start winning next year. The bullpen has a few pieces that could be moved to help out contenders. The first of these pitchers is left hander Wesley Wright. The lefty was granted free agency by the Rays and signed by the Cubs in December. Wright is in the second year of arbitration, therefore he will have one year of team control beyond this year.  The lefty has been excellent in his 26.1 innings this season. He enters Friday with a sparkling 2.39 ERA and 2.85 FIP. Plus, his LOB% is at 79.7%, meaning he basically leaves 4 out of every 5 men on base, which is the second highest rate of his career.  The second lefty that could be on the move is James Russell. The reliever is the longest tenured Cub, called up in 2010, and one of the most used relievers in baseball over the last two years. Russell, like Wright, is in the second year of arbitration, meaning he is under team control through 2015. The lefty specialist has a reverse split in his 25.1 innings pitched, which means he is better against right handed hitters than left handed hitters. Against righties, he is allowing a microscopic .108 batting average against in 53 at bats against. His ERA is also fantastic at 2.84 through 35 games with a sparkling .203 BABIP against, which is 76 points lower than his career mark. The final bullpen arm that could be moved prior to the July 31st deadline is swing man Carlos Villanueva.  Villanueva is valuable for several reasons. One of these reasons his he is only owed $2.5 million for the rest of the year. Also, he is a free agent at the end of the year and as stated before, he is a swing man. The right hander can come in and make a spot start or be a long reliever in the pen.  Villanueva’s ERA (6.47) is a bit inflated due to a bad month of April, but he is a solid piece for a contender.

As Theo and Jed have actively said after the Samardzija/Hammel trade, this is the last year of being sellers. The Cubs will trade the pieces that aren’t necessarily in the future plans for players that will fit in the competitive window that has become clearer after this trade. The picture has become a lot more visible and 2015 cannot come soon enough for Cubs fans. It is going to be a fun ride. For now, however, there will be more movement by the front office.

  • Noah_I

    Good piece. Ruggiano could be moved as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs prefer to keep Valbuena since he’ll still be relatively cheap next season, could provide some insurance next season if either Baez or Bryant falter in their first shot at the Bigs (or if the Cubs think Bryant is better suited for an outfield corner), and would be a really good backup infielder if Baez and Bryant both succeed.

    I’d think either Ruggiano or Coghlan would have the most trade value, followed by the left handed relievers. I think the Cubs would probably prefer to keep Coghlan, since he hits left handed, is younger, and is cheaper.

  • Noah_I

    Good piece. Ruggiano could be moved as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cubs prefer to keep Valbuena since he’ll still be relatively cheap next season, could provide some insurance next season if either Baez or Bryant falter in their first shot at the Bigs (or if the Cubs think Bryant is better suited for an outfield corner), and would be a really good backup infielder if Baez and Bryant both succeed.

    I’d think either Ruggiano or Coghlan would have the most trade value, followed by the left handed relievers. I think the Cubs would probably prefer to keep Coghlan, since he hits left handed, is younger, and is cheaper.

  • PLCB3

    It’d be nice if someone claimed Jackson’s contract once everyone is put on waivers.

  • AC0000000

    It’d be nice if someone claimed Jackson’s contract once everyone is put on waivers.

  • PLCB3

    Molina is out 8-12 weeks for the Cardinals. Hopefully they won’t make the playoffs.

    • Dork

      The Reds took some big hits to this week (Phillips and Votto). and Milwaukee is faultering. These teams get lots of game against the cubs so a wildcard is likely to come out of the central again. It seems like there is clear separation in talent in the NL between the Pirates and above in the standings and the Marlins and below.

      • Dork

        I am going to argue against my own point. The Central only gets to beat up on one team, where as the Giants and Dodgers and Braves and Nationals get to beat up on 3 teams.

      • PLCB3

        What do your spreadsheets say how many games everyone has left with each opponent? Because as Woody Paige knows, you’ve got to look at the schedule!

      • Is that the guy from Toy Story?

      • PLCB3

        Woody Paige is one of the panelists on around the horn on ESPN.

      • Is he the one who sits between Joy Behar and Barbara Walters?

      • PLCB3

        I was unaware he was on The View

      • PLCB3

        Doesn’t mean I don’t root for CED to happen before the playoffs.

  • AC0000000

    Molina is out 8-12 weeks for the Cardinals. Hopefully they won’t make the playoffs.

    • Dork

      The Reds took some big hits to this week (Phillips and Votto). and Milwaukee is faultering. These teams get lots of game against the cubs so a wildcard is likely to come out of the central again. It seems like there is clear separation in talent in the NL between the Pirates and above in the standings and the Marlins and below.

      • Dork

        I am going to argue against my own point. The Central only gets to beat up on one team, where as the Giants and Dodgers and Braves and Nationals get to beat up on 3 teams.

      • AC0000000

        What do your spreadsheets say how many games everyone has left with each opponent? Because as Woody Paige knows, you’ve got to look at the schedule!

      • Is that the guy from Toy Story?

      • AC0000000

        Woody Paige is one of the panelists on around the horn on ESPN.

      • Is he the one who sits between Joy Behar and Barbara Walters?

      • AC0000000

        I was unaware he was on The View

      • AC0000000

        Doesn’t mean I don’t root for CED to happen before the playoffs.

  • Dork

    It seems like if there is one thing that we have an oversupply of it is pull pen arms.

    • Noah_I

      Teams really should have an oversupply of bullpen arms, if you’re drafting high ceiling pitchers. The ones who never develop a solid third pitch become relievers throwing 96-98.

      • PLCB3

        More good relievers helps shorten the game.

  • Dork

    It seems like if there is one thing that we have an oversupply of it is pull pen arms.

    • Noah_I

      Teams really should have an oversupply of bullpen arms, if you’re drafting high ceiling pitchers. The ones who never develop a solid third pitch become relievers throwing 96-98.

      • AC0000000

        More good relievers helps shorten the game.

  • Dork

    The Yankees might be desperate for an innings eater… Jackson or Villanueva MR Cashman?

    • PLCB3

      That’s what I was getting at with someone claiming Jackson’s contract.

      • Dork

        I don’t think it would be wise to give Jackson up for nothing. Maybe Villanueva

      • PLCB3

        Work out a trade, if nothing can be agreed on, thank you very much the contract is yours. How the Padres got stuck with Randy Meyer’s contract, and how the trash got stuck with Rios.

  • Dork

    The Yankees might be desperate for an innings eater… Jackson or Villanueva MR Cashman?

    • AC0000000

      That’s what I was getting at with someone claiming Jackson’s contract.

      • Dork

        I don’t think it would be wise to give Jackson up for nothing. Maybe Villanueva

      • AC0000000

        Work out a trade, if nothing can be agreed on, thank you very much the contract is yours. How the Padres got stuck with Randy Meyer’s contract, and how the trash got stuck with Rios.

  • Dork

    I don’t think anyone would give up much for our bats. Unless the we are just interested in moving them, which I am not sure why. Ruggiano, Lake, Valbuena, Coughlan (Scheirhotz last year) have all had nice stretches, but can’t seem to maintain any consistancy. If you are a win now team, you can’t wait for a guy to hopefully get hot, or hope a change of scenery helps.

  • Dork

    I don’t think anyone would give up much for our bats. Unless we are just interested in moving them, which I am not sure why. Ruggiano, Lake, Valbuena, Coughlan (Scheirhotz last year) have all had nice stretches, but can’t seem to maintain any consistancy. If you are a win now team, you can’t wait for a guy to hopefully get hot, or hope a change of scenery helps.

  • Doc Raker

    Nice piece- good to hear Thed is saying this is the last year of selling. I would love to see the 2015 team bring up several of these stud prospects and get going on their big league success.

    • Noah_I

      Bryant and Baez will both be up by mid-June 2015. I’d bet at least Bryant will be up by late April/early May, and Baez will be anytime between then and when the Super 2 deadline passes. If he can stay healthy, Soler might be up midseason next year too. Soler has to be on the active roster on Opening Day 2016, so the Cubs don’t gain any service time by holding him off from the Majors later in 2015. Russell’s probably an outside shot at next year too, but I’d bet more on 2016 with him. Still, you’re looking at a potential mid to late 2015 lineup of something like:

      CF Alcantara
      SS Castro
      1B Rizzo
      3B Bryant
      RF Soler
      2B Baez
      LF Coghlan (or whomever)
      C Castillo

      Or, if the Cubs traded for Stanton per the trade idea I proposed earlier in the week in my post (with Baez and Almora as the main pieces), you’d be looking at:

      2B Alcantara
      1B Rizzo
      3B Bryant
      RF Stanton
      LF Soler
      SS Castro
      CF Coghlan (or whoever)
      C Castillo

      Either of those look like a lot of fun to watch.

      • PLCB3

        Why can’t you wait until the Super-2 deadline passes for both? Why does Soler have to be on the MLB team in 2016?

      • Noah_I

        Because waiting until the Super-2 deadline for both is all but passing on contending in 2015, and I don’t think the Cubs intend on doing that. Soler is out of minor league options after next season. His deal he signed with the Cubs was a Major League deal with 4 option seasons, with 2012 being the first.

      • PLCB3

        Do you at least the play the service time game to ensure that extra year? Can you play service time/super-2 with Soler?

      • Noah_I

        Yes, they’ll wait until later in April to gain the extra year of service time on Baez and Bryant. The service time issue with Soler is likely moot due to his injuries, as next year is the last it comes into play. With Soler unlikely to be promoted to Iowa this season, there’s no way he comes up before gaining the extra year, and less than 3 months at Iowa means he avoids Super 2. So yes, they can play with service time on Soler next year, but it won’t really come into play. Once 2016 roles around, though, the Cubs cannot do any service time machinations with Soler. He must be on the active roster or waived.

      • AC0000000

        Why can’t you wait until the Super-2 deadline passes for both? Why does Soler have to be on the MLB team in 2016?

      • Noah_I

        Because waiting until the Super-2 deadline for both is all but passing on contending in 2015, and I don’t think the Cubs intend on doing that. Soler is out of minor league options after next season. His deal he signed with the Cubs was a Major League deal with 4 option seasons, with 2012 being the first.

      • AC0000000

        Do you at least the play the service time game to ensure that extra year? Can you play service time/super-2 with Soler?

      • Noah_I

        Yes, they’ll wait until later in April to gain the extra year of service time on Baez and Bryant. The service time issue with Soler is likely moot due to his injuries, as next year is the last it comes into play. With Soler unlikely to be promoted to Iowa this season, there’s no way he comes up before gaining the extra year, and less than 3 months at Iowa means he avoids Super 2. So yes, they can play with service time on Soler next year, but it won’t really come into play. Once 2016 roles around, though, the Cubs cannot do any service time machinations with Soler. He must be on the active roster or waived.

  • Doc Raker

    Nice piece- good to hear Thed is saying this is the last year of selling. I would love to see the 2015 team bring up several of these stud prospects and get going on their big league success.

  • Dork

    couple of fun games the last 2 – hopefully it is a sign of the rest of the season

  • Dork

    couple of fun games the last 2 – hopefully it is a sign of the rest of the season

  • Doug S.

    Fun game yesterday, though a little soggy at times. It’s been 16 years since I’ve been at Wrigley. The park improvements and large video board will be most welcome. Pissing rain here at 8:30 AM downtown. Today could be interesting.

  • Doug S.

    Fun game yesterday, though a little soggy at times. It’s been 16 years since I’ve been at Wrigley. The park improvements and large video board will be most welcome. Pissing rain here at 8:30 AM downtown. Today could be interesting.