Even though the unofficial “trading season” usually does not start till about June, it is never to early for teams to shop their players around the league to gauge their interest. And the general speculation from writers is that the two Cubs most likely to get traded this season will be Jeff Baker, and Tom Gorzelanny.
By, keeping Gorzelanny in the rotation, the Cubs are showcasing him to other teams for a possible trade. And, Gorzelanny has also helped his trade value with the strong start he is off to so far this season. Gorzelanny has a record of 1-3, due in large part of the lack of offensive support he receives, but he has a very strong ERA of 2.45. Another stat, is that all five starts Gorzelanny has made this season have been considered to be quality starts.
Now some would argue about whether or not the Cubs should trade him, but when compared to Carlos Zambrano, Gorzelanny leaves a lot to be desired. And that is the key factor in all this trade talk, is the fact that Carlos Zambrano is going to return to the rotation this year. And, it will be nearly impossible to move Carlos Silva due to risk of performance, and his contract, which makes Gorzelanny the odd man out. And that is what ESPN’s Buster Olney re-iterated today on Baseball Tonight, when he said that the Cubs are shopping Gorzelanny in order to acquire a eighth inning reliever, and move Zambrano back to the rotation.
As far as Jeff Baker, it seems most likely the Cubs will look to trade him once they bring up prospect Starlin Castro. As, if the Cubs actually do intend to move Theriot to second, and have Castro be their starting shortstop, the use for Baker will be invalid for this team.
Even though he is not off to the best of starts this year, hitting .214/.267/.429, Baker still has provided a lot of depth for the Cubs over the past year and a half. He has the ability to play second base, shortstop in a pinch, and third base, and at times provides a little pop off the bench. Again, Baker maybe packaged with Gorzelanny in order for the Cubs to acquire that much desired set-up guy.
Obviously, at this point the Cubs need is pretty simple, as the only glaring whole is in the bullpen. Which, is why many expect that the Cubs will eventually trade for a reliever. As far as acquiring any offensive help, that does not seem likely,or at least at this point in time it doesn’t. Because simply the Cubs do not have any where to put a new offensive player. However, that does not account for injuries that may happen between now and July 31st. An interesting scenario I see playing out, is that if Derrek Lee continues his struggles over the next couple of months, you may hear whispers about the Cubs shopping him.Because back before the 2009 season, their was talk that the Cubs had a deal in place to move Lee, but he eventually nixed it. But like I mentioned before, we are long way from July 31st, so all this talk could be only for mere speculative purposes.