The lack of baseball trades this week has left some fans to scratch their heads in disappointment. But what should be realized is that the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is not a marathon, it is more like a mad dash to the finish line once we get within a few hours of the deadline. The Chicago Cubs have been no different. In each of the past two seasons, the Cubs have waited till the final two days before the deadline to start making trades. On July 30 of 2009, the Cubs acquired John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny from the Pittsburgh Pirates. On deadline day last season, the Cubs traded Ryan Theriot and Ted Lilly to the Los Dodgers. The Cubs may be on the same timeline this season.
According to a prospect based website Prospect Insider, the Cubs along with several other teams have been waiting in the weeds ready to pounce on deals this weekend. Contrary to recent reports, general manager Jim Hendry has been very active on the trade market and that effort may pay off in the coming days.
Kosuke Fukudome may be the first domino to fall. The Cubs appear to be closing in on a deal that sends Fukudome to a contending team. The Cleveland Indians along with 3 other contending teams are all in the mix for the foreign outfielder. However, the Indians appear to be the front-runner to land Fukudome. The Cubs should get a top-100 prospect for Fukudome, but nothing higher than that. The Cubs would guarantee themselves a good return if they absorb the approximate $4MM left on Fukudome’s contract for the remainder of the season. A trade of Fukudome would clear way for either Brett Jackson or Tyler Colvin.
With the exception of Fukudome, it is hard to determine what other trades the Cubs will make this week. Carlos Pena‘s name has popped up as a player who is likely to be traded. Though, the belief is that the Cubs’ current asking price is too high for any team to bite on. With that said, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates remain interested in the Cubs’ first baseman. Marlon Byrd has also generated a lot of interest from contending teams. The Cubs want to trade two of their outfielders, though, Byrd is the one they want to keep. Reed Johnson has also been a popular name on the trade market, but with his back problems flaring up this week, a trade seems unlikely at this point.
Time will tell on whether or not Hendry has had a successful deadline. But considering how active the Cubs have been on the trade market so far, you would have to imagine that Hendry will be able to pull off a deal or two before the deadline passes.