Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is this it? Will we see anyone else traded? (and what else we now know)

There is less than 2 weeks before the true trade deadline hits. Now with Derrek Lee gone, and the dust settles once again, one begins to wonder, will anyone else be moved?

Probably not. It is possible that someone may want to snag Xavier Nady. I, personally, don't think the Cubs want to get rid of him. It appears to me that Jim Hendry is still very high on Nady, and with the possibility of a reduced payroll next year, Nady may be a cheap option at first base next season.

Aramis Ramirez is in the news as well, but as I stated yesterday, the Cubs have no one lined up to play third base if they get rid of the team’s best 3rd baseman in 35 years. Josh Vitters isn't ready, and I can't think of any available 3rd basemen that would be an improvement. Ramirez also receives a smaller salary next year than he has had this season…so there is a slight cost savings with Ramirez already.

Pitchers? Well, it sounded like a number of teams inquired about Tom Gorzelanny, but the Cubs don't seem too keen on giving him up at this point. The Cubs have control of him for one more year (at least). If the Cubs struggle next season, trading Sloth in July of 2011 before he hits free agency would seem like a better idea. You probably would have to expect some teams inquired about Sean Marshall as well, but he, like Sloth, is still under team control for some time yet.

So, I don't see any more trades to be made until the off-season.

What else do we know? Well, the Cubs have recalled Micah Hoffpauir who will split time with Xavier Nady at first base. This will likely be Hoffpauir’s swan song with the Cubs, as I believe he is now out of options and would have to be designated for assignment if the Cubs chose not to have him on the 25 man roster after this season. That is likely going to be the case as Hoffpauir has shown that he really is nothing more than a career minor leaguer. He might make a serviceable bench player from some second division team at some point, but Hufflepuff is 30 years old and his window of opportunity is just about shut.

What we also know is that the Cubs have been quickly restocking their farm system after most of the best prospects have been elevated to the big league club this season. With a better set of scouts than the Cubs have had in decades, getting a large number of mid-range prospects is a good thing. There is strength in numbers if you have good talent evaluators. The more prospects you get, the likelihood that your minor league system can produce some good players will increase.

There has been talk about Tyler Colvin playing first base. Bad move. Over the next 2 years a number of very good first basemen will be available via free agency. Colvin is pretty good in the outfield and the Cubs should keep him there. Besides, they need a right fielder...and possibly a left fielder...and moving a good outfielder to a position that should be easily filled by a free agent seems like a dumb move.

Speaking of left field, I think the Cubs will be begging teams to take Soriano off their hands after this season is over. Likely the same is true with Zambrano. Carlos Silva could also be on the trading block...assuming his heart doesn't stop working.

So, that's what we know.

One last thing, if you want to see some very good analysis of the three players the Cubs got in the D-Lee trade, go over to ACB and check out Maddog's analysis. It was a very good trade and the Cubs probably received more in that trade than they could have expected.