For the Cubs, most of the trade deadline talk has revolved around veterans Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, and Carlos Pena. Beyond that, Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry does not appear to be willing to trade players that are under contract in 2012 and beyond. Though, it can be argued that it would work to Cubs’ benefit to shop the likes of Geovany Soto, Ryan Dempster, Carlos Marmol, and Sean Marshall to any team that may be interested in giving up a pretty penny for them.
While Hendry may say publicly that players under contract in 2012 and beyond will not be traded, that does not mean that aren’t discussions going on regarding some of the Cubs’ untouchable players. No, Starlin Castro is not going anywhere. But according to John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus, the Cubs are telling teams that everyone except for Castro can be had in the right deal. Also in the report, the Cubs are telling teams that Aramis Ramirez might now be convinced to waive his no trade clause.
I have said all along that Hendry is taking the wrong approach by not being willing to trade any player that could have a possible impact on the Cubs in 2012 and beyond. The only true untouchables on the Cubs–in my opinion–are Castro, Matt Garza, and Brett Jackson. Yes, I know that I left second baseman Darwin Barney off that list. But as a whole, the word untouchable is overused. To say that players like Soto, Dempster, Marmol, Barney, and Jeff Baker are untouchable would be a lie. There is no reason that the Cubs should not trade any of those players if a team offers them the right amount of prospects. It would benefit the the Cubs considerably to trade Dempster, Soto, or Baker before Sunday.
As of now, teams like the Indians, Yankees, Red Sox, and Detroit Tigers are all searching for a top-end starting pitcher. Those four teams are all vying for Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies and all are willing to give up a top 100 or in some cases a top 50 prospect to get Jimenez. This season, Jimenez is 6-9 with an ERA of 4.20, which is a considerable drop-off from his 2010 season where he posted 19 wins to go with an ERA of 2.88. While Dempster does have a higher ERA than Jimenez this season due to starting the season off with an ERA of 9.58 in April, the Cubs’ starting pitcher is coming off his two best months of the season in May and June. So if there is a team that would be willing to give up a top 100 prospect for Jimenez, you would have to think that Dempster could net a similar package.
Do I think the players like Dempster, Soto, or Baker will be traded before Sunday? No. But, it may be to the Cubs’ benefit to consider trading some of them to improve their team for the future.