This talk may be premature, and I’m sure come middle to late July everyone will be tired of the trade talk subject because it will have been run into the ground, but it is a big part of the baseball business. Unlike seasons before, the Chicago Cubs should be on the good side of the trade talks.
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No longer are the Cubs looked to as sellers and not buying into the present day team; they should be primed and ready to be in the middle of all the most coveted names available in the trade market. With names like Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Chris Davis, Ben Zobrist, and Johnny Cueto, there is no shortage of talent that will be available and moved to contending teams.
But what if the Cubs decide that all of the prices on the names that they want are too high and they decide that they would be better off keeping their top ranked farm system in tact and their major league talent right where it is.
Are the Cubs still good enough to contend without a trade?
Again, the question may be premature, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be discussed.
Looking at the Cubs roster now, the glaring weakness is the bullpen, which the Cubs have been addressing and could continue to address in the coming weeks. There are options in the minors for the Cubs that would essentially be like trading for a player. C.J. Edwards, Dallas Beeler, Blake Cooper, Eric Jokisch, and Gonzalez Germen could come up to Chicago to replace any reliever that is not pulling their weight.
Starting pitching on the other hand, is something that will probably be an issue as far as the No.5 starter goes for the rest of the season. Tsuyoshi Wada right now has that spot, but how long can he stay healthy and effective remains to be seen.
One big difference that I could see is Jorge Soler and when the weather starts to heat up. If Soler starts to catch on fire with his bat when the summer days start rolling in, he could make more of a difference than any player outside of a top rotation starter for the Chicago Cubs.
Soler’s talent and ceiling is that high that he can be that kind of a difference maker for the Chicago Cubs.
I don’t think the Cubs will stay with their current roster as it stands. Other prospects will make their way up to the major league team at some point and they’ll offer a lift for the team.
I also think for the right price, another starter will be added to the team. It may not be Hamels, Cueto, or a David Price, but Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez could be available for a very low price.