The Chicago Cubs had a succesful trade deadline approach. Pay no attention to Buster Olney of ESPN, who classified the Cubs as one of the losers of the MLB trade deadline. In fact, the Cubs could very well be viewed as winners because of the moves that they made this week. The Cubs received double A reliever Jacob Bringham from the Texas Rangers for catcher Geovany Soto, and that was more of a return that what most expected the Cubs to receive for Soto. In addition, the Cubs received Arodys Vizcaino from the Atlanta Braves to go along with Jaye Chapman in exchange for Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson. Vizcaino was the #2 best pitching prospect in the Braves’ farm system before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Even with the surgery, Vizcaino is projected to be a power arm for the Cubs that will likely have a spot in the starting rotation. Vizcaino has been ranked as the third best prospect in the Cubs’ farm system. Though, Vizcaino instantly becomes the team’s best pitching prospect.
Even in trading Ryan Dempster to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday the Cubs received more value than what was expected. The Cubs received three star third base prospect Christian Villanueva and pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks from the Rangers. Villanueva was ranked among the top 5 prospects to be traded by the deadline. The Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that the Cubs were feverishly trying to trade Dempster in order to concede to his wishes, were not willing to offer any quality prospects in order to acquire Dempster.
All in all, Cubs’ president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer deserve high remarks for their efforts at the trade deadline. Their success was almost multiplied had they been able to complete a trade that would have sent left fielder Alfonso Soriano to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Soriano told reporters on Tuesday that he was very close to being traded to the Dodgers on Monday night.
“The Cubs talked to my agent who was in the middle of it and kept me informed,” said Soriano. “He told me last night that it was very close to getting done with L.A., but it did not happen.”
Soriano, who has had a solid season as the team’s home run (19) and RBI (61) leader, was open to a trade as long as the city and team appealed to him.
“I didn’t turn down any team, but I told my agent to tell the Cubs I would only go to one West Coast team, and that was the Dodgers,” Soriano told ESPNChicago.com. “They never came to us with anything else.”
That would seem to explain why the Cubs pulled Brett Jackson from the Iowa Cubs game on Monday. The deal to the Dodgers likely would have sent Soriano and Dempster to Los Angeles, though after the Dodgers’ landed outfielder Shane Victorino from the Philadelphia Phillies, that seemed to have eliminate any chance that the Cubs had of trading Soriano to the Dodgers.
There were also reports that Soriano blocked a trade that would have sent him to the San Francisco Giants. That is not the case. The Cubs and Gaints never had a trade in place that would have sent Soriano to San Francisco. Rather, Soriano told Epstein the teams that he would be willing to accept a trade to and the Giants were not on that list.
It is unclear whether the Detroit Tigers are on that list, but the Cubs and Tigers were believed to have been working on a trade that would have sent Soriano to Detroit. Though, the word coming out of the Tigers’ front office is that there were no discussions with the Cubs involving Soriano. Nonetheless, that theory figures to be tested during the month August. Soriano, with $45 million left on his contract, is a virtual lock to pass trade waivers. Meaning the Cubs will likely try to re-visit the reported discussions that they had with the Tigers.