Cubs Dumping Salary By Trade Deadline

Azz ChapperContributor IJuly 13, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 15: Starting pitcher Rich Harden #40 of the Chicago Cubs delivers the ball against the Colorado Rockies on April 15, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Rockies defeated the Cubs 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It is time for Jim Hendry and the Cubs to realize the 2009 team, which they built to win the World Series, is not a team that reflects a championship contender. Sure, if they had the ability to add Roy Halladay and Matt Holiday, then they could beat the Dodgers to go to the World Series.

The Cubs do not have the ability in this economic climate to add that much payroll to their current financial situation, so why not get prepared for 2010? 

I know, I know. They could still beat out the Brewers and the Cardinals to win the Central Division and lose to the Dodgers or the Phillies in the NLDS, but is that the true goal? 

There are a number of fans out there that got caught up emotionally after Zambrano's outburst last month, but the fact of the matter is that he is the key to building a winner in the future, plus he makes $17 million to $20 million per season over the next three years with a no trade clause. So, don't waste your time thinking about finding trading partners for Zambrano.

Rich Harden has not been that effective this season, but as all in baseball know he could be the "Ace" of any staff when he is hot. Considering Harden is primarily healthy for the second straight season, many teams would be very interested in a player in the last year of his $7 million contract.

Kevin Gregg is a nice set up man or closer for any pennant contender. Considering Gregg only makes $4.2 millioin and is in the final year of his contract, then he too would be a prime candidate to move. The Cubs have Carlos Marmol in the bullpen waiting on his chance to become the closer.

The Milton Bradley experiment has not been a failure, but he has not been a success either. The Cubs may have overpaid for Bradley, but there are a number of contenders that would be fine with his $21 million left over the next two years for a left-handed bat.

Getting young pitching, hitting and specifically catching in trades for the three players mentioned above would make sense for the 2010 Cubs.  It is time Cubs to look to the future. The goal is not to become the Atlanta Braves, although it would be nice to win the World Series once.