The trade deadline is coming up in just about two weeks and the Chicago Cubs look to be big sellers in this year’s market. At 42-50, the Cubs have been a more improved team than last years, but it is not good enough for them to be buyers at the deadline.
Matt Garza is the top pitcher on the market and will demand a high price in regards to trade return. He is an impending free agent at the end of the year, so the return won’t be as great as maybe Yovanni Gallardo, who is under team control for the 2014 season. Teams that have been involved in trade discussions are the Indians, Blue Jays, Rangers, Padres, Cardinals and Red Sox.
Last years deadline saw Zack Greinke being moved to the Angels for three of their top prospects, including Jean Segura who is a top candidate for rookie of the year. Greinke was also a rental for Anaheim and wound up signing with the Dodgers in the offseason. Another rental player that brought back a huge return was Carlos Beltran, who netted Zach Wheeler from the Giants in 2011. Teams are more reluctant to trade prospects with promise for players who will most likely not return after half a season. The Cubs want to get as much value for Garza, and holding on to him would most likely result in a qualifying offer and composition draft pick if he signs elsewhere.
The top two teams interested in Garza are the Rangers and Blue Jays. Both have great farm systems and could net the Cubs some quality prospects while they continue to rebuild. Prospects that stand out from Texas are Martin Perez, Mike Olt and Cody Buckel. As a rental, Garza could net just about one of these players with a few throw-ins involved. Aaron Sanchez from Toronto would be a great return for Garza, as he has been dominating the low minors since being drafted in 2010.
The Cubs have more intriguing pieces for other teams, such as Kevin Gregg and Alfonso Soriano. Gregg has surprised many and could help a team out with bullpen troubles. A team that could be involved is Detroit who has had bullpen trouble all season. Soriano has a no-trade clause, but has been hot of late and could help a lot of teams in need of a bat, especially with the Biogenesis suspensions looming many stars. An American League team would be a perfect fit for Soriano, as he could DH while platooning in the outfield.
Chicago will look to improve their already impressive farm system, which has been turned into a top 10, possibly top 5 system since Theo Epstein has taken over. Look for numerous trades coming up, especially after the All-Star break, but with the second Wild Card spot, more teams will be reluctant to sell, as the Cubs could be the top seller.