With the Cubs out of the race, despite what Hendry may say or not say the Cubs are out it. With the trade deadline coming up I have decided to go through and list the Cubs players rankings on how I see them as viable trade targets and who should net us the most value and who should net us the least value. I will be just ranking the 25 members on the current MLB roster (as of 6/30/11).
1 Starlin Castro, SS. Duh. I mean there is no doubt that Castro carries the most value on this team. He is a 21 year old SS who hits pretty well. The Cubs control him until at least 2016, and he shouldn’t be moved except for the highest of high offers. Castro is probably in the top 10 to 15 of most valuable players in baseball and should be treated as such.
Trade Value Ranking: 99/100.
2. Geovany Soto, C. Geo isn’t having a great year and has shown to be injury prone, but he is still an above average catcher on the cheap. His 724 OPS is still 28 points above the MLB average for catchers, and his career OPS of 817 is 121 points higher than the MLB average. Soto is still under team control through 2013, and with the catcher position as weak as it is, if traded he should bring back a hefty haul.
3. Matt Garza, P. Matty Garz has pitched very well since the end of April with a 3.44 ERA since April 20th, and hitters are only hitting for a 224/301/355 line during that time against him as well. Garza is still pretty young and still has two years of arbitration left. Garza would make for some very large trade bait, but would be a risky PR move since the Cubs just gave up a bunch to get him.
4. Carlos Marmol, CL. Marmol just blew another save last night but still picked up the win after loading the bases. Despite Marmol’s struggles (5 BS) and being thrown under a moving bus by Zambrano, Marmol has still been pitching very well. His ERA still sits below 2.5 and he is striking out nearly 12 batters per nine, and the walks are the lowest they have been since 2008. He has only given up one HR despite facing 152 batters. Marmol’s contract does get a bit expensive going forward, he is owed 16.8 million between 2012 and 2013, but he still is an elite closer and would be an asset to nearly every team.
5. Sean Marshall, RP. Sean Marshall is in my opinion one of the most underrated players on this team. He doesn’t get the saves. He doesn’t get the wins. He just gets his job done and gets it done well. Marshall has kept LHB at bay this season with an OPS against of only 572, but it’s not like he only sends lefties back to the bench, right handers are only hitting for a 615 OPS as well. Marshall is one of the best set up men in the game, but unfortunately set up men don’t get much recognition. Marshall could also possibly close for a team as well.
6. Randy Wells, P. Randy has really struggled since coming back from injury (7.20 ERA) but he has a track record of doing well, with a career 3.88 ERA, and could be a very nice middle to back end of the rotation guy for a team needing some better pitching. Wells’ main value is that he is under team control until 2014 and has yet to hit arbitration. An average to above average pitcher with that type of contract is very valuable. Heading into the season I would have ranked Garza number 3 (behind Castro and Cashner), but with his recent issues he drops to 6.
7. Darwin Barney, 2B/SS. Darwin Barney’s main position through the minors was shortstop, and that’s how he should be used in the majors, but with our current team he doesn’t make sense to play there for the Cubs. Barney’s bat doesn’t translate nearly as well to 2B as it does to SS. Barney could bring solid value to a team needing a SS or backup middle infielder and he is under team control through 2016 as well, which is where the majority of his value comes from.
8. Carlos Pena, 1B. As I am sure its been beaten into your head by now Carlos Pena has 17 home runs since May2nd. You probably also knew that he had 0 HR’s prior to that. Pena has some serious power and there should be teams looking for him, and with the Cubs already picking up 5 of the 10 million next year he has very little left on his salary for this year. The only problem for Pena is he doesn’t hit for any type of average and needs a platoon partner, as he is only hitting .097/.250/.210 against lefties on the season and for his career well he hits lefties worse than Zambrano does. Still a lot of teams could use a guy that can hit 17 HR’s in two months, and should bring back decent value
9. Kosuke Fukudome, OF. Fukudome is having so far having another solid year with the bat. For the third year in a row Fukudome has a 370 or better OBP. He doesn’t bring much in the power department or the stolen base department, but he could be a nice lead off hitter for a team needing a lead off guy. The amount we get back really depends on the amount of money the Cubs are willing to pick up which is around seven and a half million currently.
10. Jeff Baker, INF. Jeff Baker kills lefties and can potentially play 5 positions. That kind of versatility could come in handy, plus he is under team control through next year as well. Teams can always use a utility guy like Baker.
11. Reed Johnson, OF. Reed is a spark plug. He really isn’t that good of a player, but he seems to just be the kind of guy you want on your team. He plays okay defense and hits lefties pretty well, and should be able to net something if moved.
12. Ryan Dempster, P. Despite his still horrible looking ERA, Dempster has been great since the end of May. After last nights gem, Ryan has managed to get his ERA which sat at 9.58 on May 1st to just under 5. He has been able to do this because since May 1st his ERA is 3.11. Dempster has been great, but what makes him so low on the list is that he has a 14 million dollar player option next year that he is most likely to pick up. If he were to turn that down he would be much more valuable because not only has he been great but he also projects as a type A free agent so he would net the receiving team a high draft pick as well. As it stands though, he sits at number 12. Also Dempster has 10 and 5 rights which could make it even more difficult to move him.
13. Jeff Samardzija, MR. If you haven’t paid attention to the Cubs lately you probably don’t realize just how good Samardzija has been. After posting ERA’s of 7.53 and 8.35 the last two seasons Shark currently has an ERA of 4.06 on the season and is striking out over a man per inning. The walks are still an issue, but he has been doing pretty well, and since April 15th his ERA is only 3.52 and been holding batters to a batting average under 200 for the entire season. The only issue is I don’t quite know what his contract status is. All Cot’s says is that there are club options for 2012 and 2013. So I put him here more of a question mark as to what his future contract status is. Still not a player that should just be given away as he has proved to be quite valuable to the team this season.
14. Chris Carpenter, MR. Carpenter is a rookie who doesn’t hold a lot of value but shouldn’t be just given away either. He is 25 already, but could be a nice MR for the future. If someone is willing to give us a decent piece for him I would move him, but I don’t see that happening and he shouldn’t just be given away.
15. Tony Campana, OF. Tony can’t hit, but boy is he fast. A team might look for a PR off the bench or possibly a late defensive replacement. Tony brings zero value with the bat, but those legs could mean something. It’s possible someone will give something for him.
16-21 Koyie Hill, C; Lou Montanez, OF; Marcos Mateo, MR; Rodrigo Lopez, MR/SP; James Russell, MR; Blake Dewitt, INF. These guys are all pretty much roster filler, and all making nearly the minimum. If anyone is willing to give us anything for them ship them off. You never know you might get back a diamond in the rough.
22. John Grabow, MR. John Grabow is about worthless, but is owed less than the rest of the list, plus a team might be looking for a LOOGY? I don’t know its hard to put a positive spin on Grabow at all.
23. Aramis Ramirez, 3B. 3B is pretty weak in MLB and with Aramis coming on a bit of late he might bring some value, but the fact of the matter is it won’t be much. The real kicker is that Ramirez’s 2012 club option becomes guaranteed if moved. Aramis is not worth the 16 million owed to him next year and it wouldn’t make sense for the Cubs to trade him and end up paying more than they would if they kept him. Only glimmer of hope might be that he could rework his deal to change that little clause, but that doesn’t seem likely.
24. Carlos Zambrano, SP. Zambrano, Zambrano, Zambrano. Well he hasn’t hit any Gatorade machines this year which is a positive. Hasn’t fought anyone in the dugout, another positive, but he hasn’t been particularly good on the field. His ERA sits at 4.38 which is the first time its ever been above 4. His K/9 sits at 6.0 also worst of career, and he is giving up 8.8 hits per nine, also worst of his career. Zambrano just isn’t what he was and he is owed another 18 million next year. Unless the Cubs eat a massive amount of his salary he will be in Cubby blue once again next year.
25. Alfonso Soriano, OF. Well here is the real salary killer. Despite being last on the list, Soriano still is hitting fairly well. He currently sits tied for first on the team with an 822 OPS, and plays a less offensive position than Pena does, but the problem is he is owed 57 million dollars through 2014 and isn’t stealing any bases or playing the defense he did when he was signed here. There is no chance we can move Soriano without probably paying 45 million dollars of his salary. We are just simply stuck with him, but look on the bright side Cubs fans…..at least he isn’t Ryan Howard.
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