The Chicago Cubs appears to be “sellers” at the trading deadline this year. The team seems to be going nowhere with players getting older and wave of youth starting to crack the 40-man roster. The deadline only 72 hours away, so it’s crunch time. Who are the players the Cubs are dangling out there and which Cubbie said that he would not accept a trade to another team? Will the new owner, Ricketts, decide to have a “fire sale” and scrap team for youth?
Ted Lilly – Lilly is the most talked about trade piece the Cubs are currently shopping. He is in the last year of his contract and he’s having a solid season. He has been the most consistent pitcher on the staff since they signed him a few years ago. Chicago has even made it clear that they would eat much of Lilly’s remaining money left on his contract this year to get the best deal. I see him going to the Mets or another fringe contender, possibly the Twins (no rumor of him going to Minnesota is out there, just think that he would be a good fit).
Derrek Lee – He was rumored to be heading out of town since he is also in the last year of his contract. The Los Angeles Angels apparently had a deal in place for him, but he declined it. He wants to play out his contract with Chicago. I’m not sure if he’ll be looking to re-sign with the Cubs this off-season, but he will demand a decent contract.
Carlos Zambrano – The Cubs would LOVE to move Zambrano and his temper out of Chicago. He will be the hardest person on the team to move because of his performance of late and the remaining amout of money that he has left on his contract. The Cubs want to just dump his salary, but they could be left eating much of it, if they want to trade him.
Alfonso Soriano – With the emergence of Tyler Colvin, the Cubs would like to move Soriano and his inflated contract. His contract was backloaded, which means that most of his money will be paid out towards the end of his deal. This will make it nearly impossible for him to be moved. If Soriano was a better fielder, they could easier move him back to 2B, where he played as a member of the Yankees. He has lost a step and his fielding is on par with Manny Ramirez. It would be impossible to trade Soriano right now, but if he starts off hot in 2011, there could be suitors.
Xavier Nady – Early in the season, the rumors started circulating that some teams were looking for a mid-level outfielder with power. Nady was one of the names that was mentioned, but with his recent plummet in his numbers and losing a number of at-bats to Colvin, it doesn’t look like Nady would be someone that a contender would be targeting. Nady needs ample at-bats to be comfortable at the plate, he hasn’t had much success has a pinch-hitter. If the Cubs trade Nady, it would be for a low-level prospect at this point.
Hopefully Chicago can pull off some trades and restock their slim farm system. At the beginning of the year, only Houston had a worse farm system in the NL Central. The Cubs are headed towards rebuilding and let’s hope they get it right this time.