Chicago Cubs News

Time To Get Down To Business

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The Cubs are ready to make trades, in an effort to improve their chances for next season. Among players that are likely on the trade block are Ted Lilly, Kosuke Fukudome, Xavier Nady, Ryan Theriot, Derrek Lee, and Mike Fontenot. With the top available starter in Cliff Lee now off the market, teams like the Mets and Dodgers are turning their attention to Cubs starter Ted Lilly. As of now, all signs point to Lilly becoming a Met.

Despite the recent onslaught of bad starts for Lilly, the New York Mets are still strongly interested in gritty left hander. According to WGN Radio’s George Offman, the Mets, and Cubs are discussing a trade that revolves around a Mets package that includes young catcher Josh Thole.

Josh Thole, 23, Is considered to be one of the Mets top catching prospects, and this year he is hitting .500/.579/.563 but in 16 plate appearances. For his career he is hitting .362/.410/.435. Thole, who is left handed, has showed in a small glimpse that he can hit major league pitching. If the Cubs are indeed talking about a package involving Thole, I wonder how they plan to use the young catcher. Right now, I would say that they could use him as their backup catcher, but Lou Piniella does like the defense that Koyie Hill brings to the table. Or, may be the Cubs plan to use Thole as a first baseman, even though I would not put much stock into that. Another option, which is far less likely, is that the Cubs may trade Soto before the deadline, and our preparing Thole to eventually be the starter. But, after looking into him, I have to say that he appears to be on the right track, and I would love to have him on the Cubs as part of our future.

Besides Lilly, the Cubs are also listening to offers for Ryan Theriot. The Cubs and Tigers have had discussions regarding Theriot, but those talks have since cooled. However, the Colorado Rockies appear to have a growing interest in the Cubs second baseman.

Since the Texas Rangers traded their first baseman Justin Smoak to the Mariners for Cliff Lee, they are showing a “strong interest” in Xavier Nady, as potential platoon mate at first base. Nady, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, has not had the best of years with the Chicago Cubs. He has found himself last on the depth chart behind Soriano, Byrd, Colvin, and Fukudome.

The Chicago Cubs would love to trade Carlos Zambrano, but at this point, there is really no concrete market for him. Plus, the Cubs would have find a team that is willing to split the remaining $40MM left on his contract. I would suspect, that the Cubs will try to trade Zambrano in the off-season.

With the All Star break being this week, expect the Cubs to intensify a lot of their trade discussions.

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