If general manager Jim Hendry is to be credited with one thing, it is that the Cubs general manager is always ready to make a deal. This is an important month for the Cubs. More than likely, the future will arrive in one way or another in a few weeks when the July 31 trade deadline arrives. Though, Hendry may not wait until then to make a move. After meeting with his top scouts and assistants this past week, the Cubs general manager is ready to deal.
Barry Roznerof the Daily Herald spoke with Hendry on Friday, who wanted to clarify his remarks earlier in the week about the Cubs not indulging in a fire sale. Hendry told Rozner that the Cubs will not stand pat at the July 31 trade deadline.
“I’m not opposed to making moves either way,” Hendry said. “I’m just not going to be trading away young guys, or guys we have under control, just for the sake of getting more young kids.
“We might be buyers and we might be sellers, or we might be both.”
I fully expect the Cubs to be both buyers and sellers this season. The main pieces the Cubs will try and ship off are the players that do not figure into their plans for the 2012 season and beyond. Those players are Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Pena. Utility man Jeff Baker may also find himself on another team before the month is over. With the exception of Pena and Ramirez, the Cubs are not in a position where they can demand top prospects for the players they want to trade. For the most part, though, the Cubs would be trading those specific players for the sole purpose of creating more financial flexibility for the off-season.
The Cubs may also be buyers this season. When we say that the Cubs will be buyers, that means the Cubs will look for players that will have an impact for them in 2012 and beyond. One player to keep an eye on that Luke has already suggested is Mets third baseman David Wright. The Mets are struggling financially, and there have been rumors that they may be willing to part ways with Wright. If they are, then you can expect that the Cubs will have an interest in the third baseman. Wright is only one example, but I would expect the Cubs to try and make at least one trade where they acquire a major league player that will have an immediate impact for them.
If the Cubs are going to pull off such a trade, they would have to part ways with some of their prospects in their farm system. One prospect that has been heavily mentioned in trade speculation has been third baseman Josh Vitters. The Cubs are a little discouraged that it has taken Vitters this long to develop, and he could be an intriguing option to include in a trade package. Tyler Colvin may also be a trade candidate in the right deal.
This is a crucial time for Hendry and the Cubs’ front office as the moves made this month will go a long way in determining when the Cubs will be in contention again.