Odds of Each Chicago Cubs Trade Chip Being Moved at the Deadline
Sadly, the most exciting portion of the Chicago Cubs' season over the past couple years has been the trade deadline as the team adds to its already-loaded farm system. It's actually become almost as exciting for the Cubby faithful to follow what hot prospects they acquire at the deadline as it is for fans of winning teams to follow what missing piece their front offices will add in late July.
Obviously, Cubs fans would still prefer the latter scenario, but the former will have to do for now.
There are a few current players on the Cubs' roster who may be on another team's roster in the near future. Based on how they've performed this season, how they fit into the trade market and how willing the Cubs are to deal them at the deadline, here are the odds on five current Cub players being moved by July 31.
IF/OF Emilio Bonifacio: 60 Percent
Bonifacio majorly impressed the Cubs when he started off red hot at the beginning of this season and he could end up getting them some prospects this deadline. He's currently on the DL and his injury could keep teams wary of dealing for him, but if the price is relatively low, expect someone to make a run at him.
As a utility man, Bonifacio's value comes in his versatility. He can play all over the field and can hold his own at any infield or outfield position other than first base. This season, he's showing even more hitting upside and has also shown off his ability to steal bases; he's swiped 13 bases already this season and has one 40 stolen-base campaign to his credit when playing for Miami.
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz: 55 Percent
At the beginning of this season, the chances of Schierholtz getting dealt at the deadline would've been about 90 percent. However, his poor start to the season may make him hard to get rid of this July. The breakout player from 2013 is batting just .215 with two home runs and 20 RBI. Those numbers just aren't going to pop out at any team, and those same teams will look elsewhere for outfield help.
The only reason the odds are this high is that there is a chance he could get hot by the deadline. Should Schierholtz catch fire in the next month-and-a-half, he will more than likely be moved. Since he won't be under contract next season and doesn't figure into the Cubs' future plans, the team will move him if they can.
RHP Jason Hammel: 99 Percent
The primary reason for the Cubs signing Hammel this offseason was to eventually flip him for prospects. President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have become similar to house flippers, signing promising free agents, watching them improve and then dealing them for prospects at the deadline.
Hammel fit perfectly into that mold and his play this season has only improved his trade value.
Consistent all season long, Hammel is 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA. At the trade deadline pitchers are at a premium and will usually net teams more prospects than a position player. As the premier second-tier pitcher available this trade deadline, plenty of teams will be interested and willing to ship prospects for Hammel.
Now it seems that the only question in this situation is just how much the Cubs will be able to get for him.
LHP James Russell: 20 Percent
In the past couple seasons, James Russell's name has come up in trade rumors, but nothing major has ever developed. He hasn't appeared in as many games this season, pitching in only 25 contests so far, so he hasn't been able to show off to potential suitors as much as in years past. Since the Cubs have lefty Wesley Wright this season, Russell isn't the only one featured in lefty-lefty matchups anymore.
His 2.93 ERA is the best mark so far of his career, but his limited appearances make it hard to gauge whether there is significant league-wide interest in him. Additionally, it would make sense for the Cubs to extend Russell's contract, so it would take a lot to lure him away.
RHP Jeff Samardzija: 75 Percent
Trade rumors on the Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija have already begun heating back up as Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier today that the team has already begun shopping Samardzija and starting pitcher Jason Hammel. According to the same report, the Braves, Blue Jays and Mariners are among the most interested teams.
Wittenmyer cites sources saying that two of those three teams have already submitted offers to the Cubs. This means the process is beginning with six weeks to go before the trade deadline, and that makes it seem like Samardzija may be moved after all.
There hadn't been much news on the Samardzija trade situation lately, which made it seem like he might stay with the team through the end of the season. However, the fact that trade talks are starting so early indicates he may soon be pitching in a different uniform.
- Atlanta Braves
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Seattle Mariners