Chicago Cubs: Could a trade with the Rays still be a possibility?


The offseason is winding down, which means teams are making their final push for trades and signings, and the Tampa Bay Rays are still in talks about trading pitching for position players.

It’s no secret that the Rays and Chicago Cubs match up well on a trade, as the Cubs have the hitters while the Rays have the pitching.

Phil Rogers offered some scenarios on how they match up, and you can read more about those scenarios, here. Reading through this, the scenario that really stuck out to me was Odorizzi for Baez.

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Javier Baez is tradeable, just in the right deal, Jake Odorizzi and Jake McGee would most certainly be the right deal for Baez to be dealt. However, if BOTH Javier Baez and Jorge Soler had to go in a trade, then that’s when the Cubs should back out. .

Soler is coming off his first full big league season, and the numbers were nothing more than pedestrian, as he posted a .262 AVG/.324 OBP/.399 SLG, 10 HR, 47 RBI, .361 BABIP. Keep in mind that Soler missed some time because of injuries, but this guy’s potential is through the roof,  that BABIP is absolutely insane, and he should only get better.

There has also been speculation that Alex Cobb could be involved in these talks, and I just don’t think that makes sense for the Cubs. Cobb will miss most of the 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery, not to mention the asking price isn’t going to be cheap.

Odorizzi makes more sense, just in terms of age, health, and years of control, which is what the Cubs are looking for. Odorizzi is coming off his best season to date: 169.1 IP, 3.35 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 7.97 K/9, 2.44 BB/9, 21.4 K%, 6.6 BB%, .271 BABIP, definitely not bad for a budding star, he needs to continue to improve on these numbers going forward.

What is Odorizzi really worth? If these teams are looking at a 1-for-1 trade, then a guy like Baez fits here. Baez, who spent most of 2015 in Triple-A, had a better stint in 2015 than he did in 2014, posting a .289 AVG/.325 OBP/.408 SLG, 1 HR, 4 RBI, .412 BABIP stat line. Another young player with an enormously large ceiling, look at that high BABIP, that is an absurd number.

If Baez makes contact, it’s usually a rocket somewhere, however, the problem is making contact, as he has struck out about 39% of the time he comes to the plate in his major league career, that needs to change, but that does not diminish what the former first-round pick can do.

If it’s a 1-for-prospects trade, then guys like Billy McKinney, Jeimer Candelario, or a Duane Underwood would come into play. It’s no question these two teams match up on a deal, but what will it take to get it done, and are both teams willing to part with marquee players?