Kick the tires at least
I guess that I just hold the opinion that if the team isn't going to sign any free agents, then they should at least be doing their do diligence in attempting to put together some trades. I have a hard time seeing how a ballclub that is likely not going to get much support from the farm system, in the form of call-ups, while making few high dollar free agent signings will be enough. The cubs have got to be willing to break out of this wait-and-see mode of doing everything and step outside of their comfort-zone. The team could do much worse by doing nothing than by exploring the possibility of moving some of their players for a reason other than dumping salary. At some point a significant trade needs to be consumated that helps the team in ways that the farm system and free agency can't. If the economy remains as it is, then the landscape of this game will have to change with it, and the result will be many teams saddled with players they can't afford.
There are certainly endless possibilities depending on what the team is looking to add along with what they're willing to give up. So I'll throw a few ideas out there to stir the pot.
-trade Ted Lilly & Ryan Theriot ----> to Braves for Yunel Escobar & Jair Jurrjens.
-trade Gaudin or Gregg & Mike Fontenot ---> to Nationals for Cristian Guzman
-trade Fontenot, Gregg, & Weurtz ---> to Yankees for Robinson Cano
-trade Ronny Cedeno ----> to Padres for Justin Hampson
-trade Vitters, Harden, and Hart ----> to Rangers for Josh Hamilton
I'm not trying to say that any one of these trades could, would, should, or may happen. I'm simply saying the team should look to be active in making trades as a way to improve the performance of the team on the field, especially if they're not willing to sign free agents or value draft picks in any way shape or form. I don't view standing pat as others improve around the league to be a good formla for advancing any further than the previous two seasons.