With the off-season a couple days away for the Cubs, the questions will start beginning on what moves the Cubs have to make to win in 2012. The number one question going into the off-season will be…”who will be the GM to make the moves.” However, there are more questions and another big need and that is starting pitching. To be honest the Cubs have to go all in and trade for/sign proven players. There’s speculation that the Cubs will rebuild, but that’ll take too much time and the curse/streak of losing has to end. A lot of money is coming off the books and Ricketts needs to show he will be all in and wants to win in 2012. That means, Tom Ricketts has to open his checkbook and show he’s not cheap and was the right owner for the Cubs.
To acquire starting pitching, the Cubs should go the trade route. The free agent market for starting pitching is thin and the names of CJ Wilson (best free agent SP) and Edwin Jackson will get overpaid for teams to have their service. One name that is expected to be available through trade is Florida Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Don’t get me wrong, he has struggled the past few years, but this could be more more of a low risk/high reward kind of situation. He will cost prospect(s), but his value is lower and won’t cost too much in prospects. The Marlins are more in a ‘rebuilding’ mode, but may open the check book for a big time free agent. As their new stadium will open for 2012.
Nolasco will be 30 when the 2012 season kicks off, in 2011 Nolasco had a 4.67 era and a record of 10-12 in 206 innings. He’s a pitch to contact hitter and is durable, as the 200+ innings show. Also, Nolasco will return to the team that drafted him.
With the breaking news that former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen will be traded to the Florida Marlins. Could we see Carlos Zambrano traded to the Fish? There is lots of speculation that Zambrano will go to the Marlins, either a trade or a release if the Cubs do in fact give rid of him. As Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Sun-Times even mentions this scenario. What about a Carlos Zambrano/Rick Nolasco base trade? This trade will actual make sense. Both pitchers are about the same age and it gives both pitchers another chance in a new environment and to revive their career. The trade could look a little bit like this, the Cubs receive SP Ricky Nolasco and another player from the Marlins for SP Carlos Zambrano, cash and a player or two (prospects).
I do see the Cubs in the market for SP this winter and a Ricky Nolasco trade does make sense. He will join Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster (if he does in fact pick up his player option) and Randy Wells. He does improve the Cubs SP and a more unlikely chance that Jeff Samardzija makes the SP and spot ins.
We could see Carlos Zambrano going to the Marlins sooner than later. If one of these trades go down or not, I do see the Cubs/Marlins matching up with a trade this off-season.
What do y’all think…will the Cubs make a trade with the Marlins this year?