With the 2013 MLB trade deadline fast approaching Wednesday, MLB general managers have been on their phones more than a 13-year-old girl at the mall. Many trades have already been made, including two large deals by the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders sent left fielder Alfonso Soriano back to the New York Yankees and shipped ace Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers.
Although no player is irreplaceable on a rebuilding team such as the Cubs, some players have more value for the future than others. Guys like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro have been mentioned as the "core of the future," although even they could be sent packing come Wednesday.
Here we look at the top three prospects the Cubs should not get rid of.
Cubs fans have been buzzing about the performance of young prospect Junior Lake. After making his Major League debut July 19, Lake has reached base in all but two games. Hitting .362 with two home runs and a .388 on-base percentage, Lake has bolstered the Cubs lineup and also brought great speed to the outfield and base paths.
Lake could be a key asset to the Cubs on both sides of the field.
Albert Almora is another player with great potential for the future. Almora has great defensive instincts and a quick bat. He is currently hitting .328 in Class A Kane County.
Ranked as the 25th overall prospect according to MLB.com, Almora is expected to progress through the minors fairly quickly. He could pair with Lake in center and left fields, respectively.
Ranked as the No. 11 overall prospect by MLB.com, Javier Baez is a no-brainer for the future of the Cubs' organization. Regardless of what the team does with current shortstop Castro, Baez will fit into the right side of the Cubs infield.
The Cubs have multiple options of what to do with Castro because of Baez, including moving Starlin to third base and putting Baez at third, or the Cubs could trade Castro and keep Baez at shortstop.