Chicago Cubs: Five players to keep, trade or dangle

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs: Is this the year they trade a core player like Schwarber or Almora?

Trading away beloved players is never an easy thing. However, sometimes those beloved players have run their course with their current team and represent more value to someone else. Sometimes, they play an easily filled position, or a coveted trade partner requires a valuable trade piece in return.

In this light, many Cubs’ fans would hate to see any of these guys go- but if it brought back a ring, can we really complain that much? I’m not advocating a trade featuring any of these players, but as they have value, they will no doubt be asked for in trade negotiations.

26-year-olds David Bote or Robel Garcia could easily be used as trade chips with someone who values infielders with pop. While they both have their swing and miss tendencies, they also both hit balls really hard. With second base a quagmire of sorts for the Cubs currently, the Cubs might view one of these guys as expendable. Doubly so if veteran Ben Zobrist does return by September 1st.

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In addition to infielders with value, the Cubs also feature a trio of young outfielders who possess varied skillsets and potential upside in a different environment. Albert Almora, despite his offensive struggles, is a very good centerfielder who could be an everyday starter on many teams.

Ian Happ, fresh from Triple-A Iowa, boasts many skills that could entice teams who feel he hasn’t reached his immense potential.

Happ can hit from both sides of the plate, hit for power, run well, and take walks. He doesn’t really have a home on defense and strikes out a boatload, but at 24 years old, he represents untapped potential.

Last but not least is one of the most polarizing Cubs- Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber has displayed just about everything you could ever want to see on a baseball field. And at times, he’s also shown everything you don’t want to see. At times a good defender, he has had his gaffes in left field. At times patient at the plate, he’s also been too passive for stretches as well.

He does hit the ball hard almost all the time, sporting a 94.7 mph average exit velocity (eighth in MLB). Teams who covet young left-handed sluggers who can hit balls on top of scoreboards may value Schwarber, especially if they are American League teams who can also use him as a DH.

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