It’s nearly impossible for a team to have trade options sitting in their back pocket. For the Chicago Cubs, who could their top trade chip be for the 2018 campaign and beyond?
Isn’t baseball the most beautiful sport on the planet? You can’t help but admire those in charge of the Chicago Cubs or any other ballclub. Having the opportunity to move pieces around, eventually, building a team that will win championships, or at least, compete, for years.
Each organization has a set of individuals with the tools that best suit other lineups more than their current team. As I mentioned in previous articles, countless times, no one is promised to stick with one team forever.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Cubs have dealt top names in order to acquire missing ingredients.
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Castro helped the Cubs flip one former Yankee for a red-hot closer, Valbuena reeled in Dexter Fowler, while Samardzija and Hammel landed top prospects.
After a Winter full of trade rumors surrounding Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell and Javier Baez, other names will emerge. So, who out of this active roster, could be up on the block soon? No, not Ian Happ — yet.
Utility men are not only handy for managers but great for the suits running the show. Currently, that man, aside from Ben Zobrist, is the 29-year-old infielder, Tommy La Stella. Since arriving in Chicago on November 16, 2014, La Stella has provided a spark when needed.
Although the injury bug bit him rather hard early on in his career, he bounced back nicely. Multiple stints on the disabled list only motivated him to excel as a pinch-hitter, earning a larger role for a small player.
In three years with the Cubs, Tommy has played nearly every position in the infield except for shortstop. Mostly, second and third base with one appearance. Overall, his fielding has helped build his stock, charged with only seven errors since becoming a Cub.
La Stella’s highest in Atlanta was six as all appearances were at second base.
Through darkness, is light
Knowing his own value, La Stella got himself into a bit of trouble after skipping out on an assignment in Iowa. Instead, the veteran went back home to New Jersey and came close to calling it a career.
Good thing he opted to return after speaking with skipper Joe Maddon and the rest, cause he’d win a World Series title the same year. Now, in Miami, La Stella reminded us, yet again, how important he is to have around.
Late in the season opener, Tommy came to the dish with two runners on base. He cleared those runners with a well-hit ball that found the right-center gap, recording a two-run RBI double in his first at-bat of the year.
Leading into the series with Cincinnati, La Stella has recorded total of eight home runs, 46 RBI, 17 doubles, and 96 hits with only 53 strikeouts in 344 at-bats. Solid numbers for a guy who isn’t an everyday starter.
Which shows that come the trade deadline, no matter the need, Tommy could serve as the centerpiece of a much-needed acquisition. Where, you ask? It’s still pretty early but it doesn’t change his status.