Chicago Cubs: Building value in their war chest
Of all the reasons laid out herein, this is the one that makes the most sense. Building trade value is as important a part of a baseball season as any. Such value creates opportunities to fill gaps midyear that would otherwise go unfilled. It can turn bubble teams into bona fide contenders and contenders into champions.
A pitcher like Mike Montgomery is a valuable asset that many contending teams would want to get their hands on. Unfortunately, contending teams aren’t going to be looking to deal away players that a contender like the Cubs would want. To that end, Monty doesn’t carry much trade value. But if you make him a starter and if he succeeds in that role, that’s a different story altogether.
Teams like Baltimore, Tampa, Detroit and San Diego would covet a cheap lefty starter. Monty is just entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, making him controllable for three additional seasons beyond 2018. This profile of player is one that sellers typically look for as return in any midyear trade. Montgomery as a starter could be a centerpiece to a very good trade package. Perhaps he could even help land the likes of Manny Machado, Chris Archer, Wil Myers or Brad Hand.
Leveraging a six-man rotation would also provide a different opportunity for the Cubs in terms of trade possibilities. With six starting slots, they could look to bring in a starting pitcher without having to disrupt their current unit. It’s a win-win opportunity.
Will It Happen?
Nobody this side of the manager’s office walls knows for sure. If Mike Montgomery continues to shine in his spot starts, it is worth a look. There are far too many advantages to such a move to dismiss it entirely. If the Cubs are as smart as we hope they are, it just may make too much sense to avoid.