Goatriders of the Apocalypse

What We've Got

Here are our trade chips, ranked by value, according to my estimation:

1) Ted Lilly

I almost ranked Tom Gorzelanny ahead of Ted before removing him from my list of trade chips. Because even if Tom is good, what are you hoping the team will get back for him?

Prospects, you say? Well, tell me why prospects are good for a team. You should answer with something like, "Because good younger players might continue to get better -- plus they're cheap compared to free agents."

On that note, how much younger, cheaper, and more talented can you get than Tom Gorzelanny? He's clearly a capable starter, and he's dirt cheap for the next two years. He'd be a perfect trade chip if the Cubs were a contender looking to pick up a pricey piece to fill in a hole in the line-up. But the Cubs want cheap talented youth, and by jove that's exactly what they've got with Gorzo.

On the other hand, Ted Lilly is not young. And he is most certainly not cheap. He also has an advantage over the #2 man on this list in that he has a track record of success. Let's move him for prospects!

2) Carlos Silva

Not young. Maybe talented? And actually, contrary to Rob's assertion, not an albatross: he's only owed $6 million in 2011 (thank you, Mariners, for picking up the tab). At that price, he could be a useful stopgap for one more year, so it might make sense to hold on to him. But it's that smaller price tag that would likely make him more valuable to other teams as well.

3) Marlon Byrd

I have him third because I figure starting pitchers are more valuable than outfielders. Plus, Byrd's bound to come down even further from his crazy April numbers.

Regardless, the man can clearly defend, has some pop in his bat, and was signed to an extremely reasonable contract this offseason: he's owed $5.5 million next year, and $6.5 million the year after that.

He's a guy that can bring your borderline team marginally closer to the playoffs, but since the Cubs aren't really close to borderline he doesn't really fit in Chicago. So move him to San Francisco for a Double A pitcher.

4) Kosuke Fukudome

Plays superior defense in right field and gets on-base at an above-average rate. Sure, that's valuable. Worth $13 million a year? Certainly not. So the Cubs would have to give up money to move him. But if a trade would net decent prospects, the team's gonna be paying him anyway, so why not open up an everyday spot for Colvin?

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Derrek Lee has a no-trade clause, and I just don't see him moving this year. Xavier Nady probably isn't enough of an upgrade to be worth much on the market, plus he's a free agent next year.

No other trades make sense for the Cubs.

I know no one wants to hear this

but I would be mildly (pleasantly) surprised if the Cubs were sellers at the trade deadline. I do think there's an argument to be made to not trade anyone.

Other than Lilly above, I don't see the Cubs moving any of these guys. Byrd isn't being dealt but if the Cubs could trade him and get out of the rest of his contract, that'd be nice.

No one is giving us anything for Silva. Lilly is the only possibility. I do think that if Lee were dealt to a contender, he'd waive his no trade clause.

Oh, and btw, even if this happens, it won't be until another month to a month and a half of games occurs.

I don't have any issues with

I don't have any issues with Byrd's contract. According to fangraphs WAR dollars, he's already contributed 3 times what he's being paid this year. Even in year 3, he's owed a modest $6.5 million. I'm as big of a Hendry critic as anyone, but this is a damn good contract to a decent ballplayer. I don't see any reason to trade him unless someone offers an A list prospect (which they won't.)

I don't disagree

Eddie:

I agree with this completely. It's hard because I don't think the Cubs should trade the good contracts (Byrd, Gorzelanny, etc...) and don't think they can trade the bad ones (Fuku, Silva) meaning we are stuck with what we've got... Other than trading Lilly, which I predict will not happen, or Lee, which probably won't happen either, the Cubs are stuck.

I guess I'm contradicting myself here. So on this I stand corrected. BTW, I hate it when people say Byrd "had a career year" in 2009. He didn't. If you actually look at his percentages, he was better in 2008 and 2007 than 2009. He just played more in 2009. He has been a very consistent decent player.

That's kinda what I'm saying:

That's kinda what I'm saying: he's a decent player signed to a decent deal. But if the Cubs aren't near contention -- and at this point I'd argue that they're a ways away -- why spend $10 million on a decent outfielder? Why not get at-bats to your younger players, save the cash, and spend that $10 million in 2012 on a free agent first baseman?

If the goal is merely to move

If the goal is merely to move freight and get AB's for the young guys, I'd rather the Cubs swallow some of Kosuke's remaining tab and hand Colvin the keys to RF. It's a better fit for several reasons. For one, Colvin is left handed. For two, Byrd has been better than Fukudome and figures to continue to be better in the future. Plus, we know that Byrd is better than Fukudome in CF, and we don't know much about how Colvin's defense would play in center. Finally, Byrd's contract is an asset, not a liability. I don't see why the Cubs should be rushed to push him and his below market value contract out the door. Just my two cents.

Sure, Kosuke is signed to a

Sure, Kosuke is signed to a less appealing deal than Byrd. But what I'm saying is that Byrd'd likely bring back more -- thus, he's a more valuable trade chip.

Essentially: we agree. Except I think we should move Byrd, while you think we should hold on to him.

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