Just like many fans and analysts anticipated, the 2013 Chicago Cubs are struggling to stay relevant. If they have indeed decided to start shopping veteran players, as ESPN Insider Buster Olney reports, we must wonder which potential contenders will pursue their expendable talent.
The Cubs entered June 21 at 29-42, tied with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central cellar, 17 games out of first place. Surprisingly effective free-agent pickups, including Scott Feldman, Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz, are the primary reasons why the team isn't even further back.
On the other hand, expensive hold-overs from the 2012 roster have been disappointing. When peddling Matt Garza and Alfonso Soriano, president Theo Epstein will almost certainly need take responsibility for some of their remaining salaries.
Because the Cubs are amid the rebuilding process, their chief priority will be acquiring prospects with the potential to lead them to excellence later this decade.
Therefore, the most likely suitors for these five individuals include franchises with strong farm systems, but also those desperate to win immediately.