Chicago Cubs fans have been patiently waiting for the Cubs to undergo some form of youth movement this season. Though, neither chairman Tom Ricketts nor general manager Jim Hendry were ready to admit that Cubs were entering a rebuilding phase. Those sentiments will likely change in the second half. With the trade deadline coming up in three weeks, the Cubs will look to move several veterans in hopes of promoting some of their top prospects to the major league level. The top trade candidates for the Cubs appear to be Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Jeff Baker. Depending on who is traded, it may clear way for Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, and Rafael Dolis to debut for the Cubs during the second half of the season.
Cubs manager Mike Quade admitted that his second half goal for the team is to get better with the kids:
"Before Sunday’s 9-1 loss to the Pirates, Mike Quade conceded he didn’t make his mark on the team in the first half of his first full season as Cubs manager.“Hell no,” he said. “It’s been a rough first half. You can’t deny that, you can’t (get) away from that. Right now, the job is to have a better second half and just get better overall. Get better with the kids.” Chicago Tribune"
It is encouraging that Quade intends to “get better with kids” during the second half of the season. Though, the skeptic in me still has to see it before I believe it. Because the only way Quade could get better with kids, is if Hendry is able to make more than one trade. For instance, once the Cubs trade an outfielder–Fukudome or Byrd–Brett Jackson would presumably get the promotion to the major league team and be a full-time starter in the outfield. However, that would still give the Cubs an outfield of Soriano, Jackson, and whoever they do not trade in Byrd or Fukudome. Tyler Colvin is still waiting in Iowa for his chance to be an everyday player with the Cubs. Meaning the Cubs will have to trade more than one outfielder in order to get 2/3 of their future outfield in the fold this season. Matt Szczur being the last piece to the Cubs future outfield.
Both McNutt and Dolis could seemingly make their debut’s without their having to be a trade to make room for them. The Cubs still do not know who their fifth starter will be in the rotation for the second half, and McNutt could be an option to fill that spot come mid-August. Or if the Cubs acquire a starting pitcher at the deadline, they may look to move Randy Wells. Wells has yet to regain his form that earned him Rookie of the Year consideration in 2009, and could be pitching himself out of the Cubs rotation. If that happens, McNutt could slide into the rotation after such a trade. Meanwhile in the case of Dolis, he could simply replace Rodrigo Lopez in the bullpen.
If the Cubs plan to “get better with this kids” in the second half, Hendry w to make some trades in order to create the openings for the “kids” at the major league level.