Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Open Forum: Cubs trade chips

It only took 36 games played for the trade talk to begin here at GROTA. And now that it's begun, let's keep the ball rolling with a question for readers:

Of the guys you'd like to see the team trade, which players do you think have the most value on the open market? Remember to consider not just past and current performance, but also age and contract status.

I think I'll hold back on my list until a few other folks submit their own.

Ted Lilly

I also think Kosuke has sleeper trade appeal, provided the Cubs swallowed a lot of his remaining deal. On base skills and defense are highly valued in most front offices now, and those are the things he does well. The amount of money remaining will be a big deterrent.

Trade Bait

In order of value (based on contract status and performance)

1. Lilly

2. Silva

3. Theriot

4. Fukudome

5. Gorezellany

6. Nady

7. Fontenot

8. Lee

9. Grabow

That's it folks. Due to age, bad contracts, and declining/poor performance, the rest of the roster, minus the core group of Castro, Colvin, Byrd, Soto, Hill, Marmol, Wells and Marshall, are virtually unmovable.
So yeah, trade three fifths of the starting rotation, a serviceable 2B/SS, a decent OF'er, a utility INF'er, a pinch-hitter DH type, an aging first baseman and a LH reliever. Find their replacements at Iowa and West Tenn, restock the farm with 8-10 prospects, take your lumps in 2010 and start the prep for 2011-12 now.

Lee is too low

He hit 35 HR last season, and is still an above average defender. Plus, he has an expiring contract. He's not done, even if his numbers are pretty grim right now.

About your list

Silva probably won't be dealt because he still has one more year left on his contract at over $10 Million.

The Cubs can't get enough return IMO to deal Lee or Lilly.

Gorzellany is tradable, yes, but I think he probably has more value to the Cubs longterm as a decent #3 starter who is fairly cheap and under the Cubs control for a few more years.

Fukudome is being paid $12 Million I believe in 2011 also so the Cubs would have to pitch in way too much money to deal him so that won't happen.

Fontenot and Nady won't net the Cubs anything worth talking about.

Grabow would be a salary dump also so nothing coming back from him.

Considering the circumstances the Cubs are under, I would almost prefer no trades rather than the ones they have on their plate.

Complete silliness

The Cubs have really only 2 trade chips (and a possible third that probably will net more in the offseason). Those players are Derrek Lee and Ted Lilly. That's it. No one else will get them anything special. With Lee and Lilly, the Cubs need to be careful. Both are players that are going to be fairly sought after free agents after the season and are worth offering arbitration to. This will net the Cubs 2 top draft picks so they should not just give them away.

I would not deal either player without getting a ready or near ready to contribute average or better player at a key position for the Cubs. End of story. Letting them finish the season and then offering them arbitration would be worth more to the Cubs in the long term.

P.S.-Another good reason not to trade them. The deal would be done by a likely lame duck GM...

Third Player

I forgot to mention this but Ryan Theriot is the other trade chip. The Cubs should deal Theriot but I think they may net more in the offseason. He seems like a guy a team will want to start the season with at shortstop (or maybe even second base) and the Cubs could get a Grade B or higher player, they should do it. Theriot has a great deal of value as a decent middle infielder both offensively and defensively who is under club control for 2 more years and being paid less than a market rate for his skills. I think Detroit would be a perfect trade partner for the Cubs here.

"It only took 36 games played

"It only took 36 games played for the trade talk to begin here at GROTA."

Well, you did initiate it... But really, we are just a couple games short of 25% of the season gone at this point - its generally when front offices start doing exactly that.

which players do you think have the most value on the open market?

If I were in charge, anyone over the age of 26 is on the market and available for the right price. That price will really depend on how many teams are simultaneously selling pieces, what teams have what needs and how the players are doing at the time of the trades though; so its hard to give a true value.

I do think Marshall and Fukudome (if we eat cash) will probably be our most desirable pieces though. Theriot will be attractive as well. Everyone else is either 1) too expensive 2) too crappy, or playing horribly - or a combination of the two

But again, all of it is dependent on Hendry being fired - he should not be the one doing the trades

Guilty as charged.

Guilty as charged.

Trading Fukudome

is only worth it to the Cubs if they get someone to take his last year of salary off our hands or give us back one or two real prospects.

I don't see that happening so I think keeping him will be more valuable to the Cubs.

I don't mind the idea of "anyone over 26" being available but I would submit that the Cubs have options on many of these players and would usually be better off keeping them then trading them. Take, for instance, Derrek Lee. Lee would probably net the Cubs one good prospect in a deal. Of course, there may be a glut of first base types on the market when the time comes to deal him so we may get less of a prospect than I'd like.

OTOH, if we let Lee finish the season with the Cubs, he'd likely be a Type A free agent in the offseason. If the Cubs were smart and offered him arbitration and he signs somewhere else, the Cubs get 2 high draft picks. From my point of view, that would be better than what we would get on the open market.

The same is generally true of Ted Lilly, our other obvious trade chip. I seriously doubt the Cubs will tear down this team Pirates style. It is possible that other than the odd small trade, the Cubs will not trade a big name player this trade deadline.

The 1B FA market is extremely

The 1B FA market is extremely deep, Lee will be 35 with injury concerns and, so far, is off a horrible season. Plus he is someone who has claimed that he wants to return.

I see zero way we would be able to offer arbitration and almost certainly end up paying Derrek 13+ Million - especially when we will likely (again) be having a difficult time making payroll (103 committed before Arbitration to some/all of Theriot, Marmol, Fontenot, Baker, Marshall, Guzman, Gorz, Hill and Soto) plus having to replace Lee, Lilly and Nady (although, granted, a monkey could do that last one for the cost of bananas)

We might be able to offer Lilly arbitration and get away with it if he has a solid season though.

Derrek would be the most

Derrek would be the most complete, and arguably the best 1B available in free agency this offseason. Take a look: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/09/2011-mlb-free-agents.html

If Lee hits around .700-.750

If Lee hits around .700-.750 OPS all year, he will have little interest with his age and injury history. Sure, he might have been one of the best over his prime, but his prime was a long time ago now…

Then, look how hard it was for LaRoche to get a deal off a .810 OPS! No way Lee is offered anywhere near 13 Million for next season no matter what (only 3 players got that last season – Holliday, Lackey and Bay). So Lee would be put into a situation where he would be asked to turn down 13 million from the team he wants to be with to try and get 10 million from a random team.

Plus, look at Lee’s B-R comparables
Herbek – done at 34
Salmon – done at 35
Klesko – done at 34
Konerko – not yet applicable
Klisezewski – basically done at 34
Carlos Lee – seemingly done at 34
Justice – done at 35/36
Karros – done at 33 outside his slight revival at 35 for one season
Mo Vaughn – done at 35
David Ortiz – questionable last year at 33 and again this year at 34

Lee will be 35, and appears to following suit perfectly – he is seemingly done at 34 from what we have seen so far…

I don't know how baseball

I don't know how baseball reference compiled their comparables, but that looks like a bunch of BS to me. I see a lot of less athletic players with little defensive value even in their primes.

Athleticism generally has

Athleticism generally has little to do with hitting ability though...

But the important part to remember is, we are now past the steroid/PED era and back to the way the game used to be. That is, when most players would completely fall off a cliff between the ages 34-36.

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