Chicago Cubs will explore trade interests in both Javier Baez and Jorge Soler
Just days after the Chicago Cubs were eliminated from the National League Championship Series by Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets, their front-office made it clear that they were going to focus on pitching.
During their exciting postseason run, the Cubs relied on both Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester to help push them forward, but both men hit a brick wall against Terry Collins‘ first place Mets. While Arrieta tossed another gem to sink the Pittsburgh Pirates in the N.L. Wild Card game, Lester didn’t receive any run support in his first start on the road.
Prior to clinching a postseason berth, there were questions marks regarding the bottom half of Joe Maddon‘s starting rotation. Right-hander Jason Hammel displayed some consistency issues throughout the season and the same could be said for second-year man, Kyle Hendricks.
Now that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are prepared to land quality arms for their starting rotation, would they be willing to part ways with either Jorge Soler or Javier Baez?
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According to FOX Sports own Ken Rosenthal, the Chicago Cubs will ‘at least explore’ the trade interest that some teams are expressing in both young players.
Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering how talented both men are. Just be thankful that Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber are off-limits.
The decision to deal one of the two is going to happen sooner or later. And if you ask me, personally, I would like to keep Jorge Soler around so you wouldn’t have to worry about finding another power hitting right fielder in the future.
But knowing how crowded the infield is, Baez becoming a key trade piece in a package that includes a starting pitcher would make more sense in the long run. You have Starlin Castro who stepped it up following his demotion late in the season, is expected to start the 2016 campaign at second base.
This leaves shortstop up to Addison Russell who moved back to his primary position as a result of Castro’s benching. Baez was expected to start out the year with the big league roster but was still having issues in the batter’s box when it came to striking out.
So before camp broke, the front-office made the decision to start him off with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. He missed some playing time due to the passing of his sister and later injured his hand, missing even more playing time.
Soler missed about two months of action following an ankle injury that he had sustained in early June and an oblique strain in late August.
The names of the clubs who have some interest in them have not been named, but I’m guessing that it could be the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, and Cleveland Indians.