As the Cubs continue to sleep walk through the 2012 season, the Trade Machine has been churning out projections and possibilities about impending decisions the front office faces.
It has been well over a month since the last installment of the TM, which was written just a day after the Marlon Byrd trade went through — we know how that turned out so well — and anticipated the most available
Cubbies. There has been some movers and shakers in the top 5 since then, although it remains to be seen whether or not any of them will be moved.
1. Ryan Dempster – Dempster is up two spots from the April edition because of his incredibly consistent performance to start the season. He finally recorded his first win last week –and somehow got his second too– despite sporting an ERA well below three for much of the season. Contract Dempster has been on full display and other teams seem to be taking note of his personal success. A few articles have been churned out saying that the Dodgers and Tigers would be interested in his services. Personally if a trade happened, a National League team would likely be the better fit for his pitching style. Dempster has already said that he’d likely waive his no-trade clause if a contender came calling his name with a good deal. If Chicago can get a little more than they did for Lilly a few years ago, then I would pull the trigger in an instant.
2. Alfonso Soriano – Could it be that Soriano has value on the open market? Even though Soriano has been feasting on left handed pitching of late and has the most home runs in the bigs in the last 30 days, his suitors will be limited. The reason he’s been raised this far up the list is a mixture of recent successes and cost it would take to obtain him. Ideally Soriano would be an every day DH for a contender, forced into the outfield when in a bind. His price tag was low during the offseason with Chicago willing to pick up a huge portion of his salary through 2014 and the team not asking for any big league quality talent in return. With Soriano playing better, his market could gain a little steam leading up to the deadline.
3. Bryan LaHair - I’ll preface this by saying LaHair won’t likely be traded. He’s being seen as a late bloomer ala Nelson Cruz and Jose Bautista. I wouldn’t put LaHair in the same position just yet, but if a team was willing to pay a price similarly to what they would pay for those two. Bye, bye LaHair. Personally I want to see LaHair switch to the outfield when Rizzo gets called up in a few weeks. The team needs as many big bats as they can get.
4. Carlos Marmol – Crazy arm hasn’t been AS wild as he was in the beginning of the season, although I’m not sure any team would trust him in the closer role at this point. Marmol still has value to a contender as a power arm out of the pen. World Series caliber teams have gambled on much riskier relievers during a pennant campaign season in the past, so Marmol should garner some interest.
5. Matt Garza - Garza has tumbled down to the end of the list because I believe Theo and Co. are realizing that this is a guy they need to build their staff around. When teams weren’t willing to offer their top prospects for Garza, Theo pulled back and has had “closed-door meetings” with Garza’s agent. I’m optimistic that a new contract or extension will be agreed to before too long.