Chicago Cubs Trade Deadline Review

John WoelfelContributor IAugust 2, 2010

CHICAGO - JUNE 25: Ryan Theriot #2 of the Chicago Cubs argues a call with second base umpire Gary Darling #37 during a game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 25, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Cubs 6-0. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The biggest win for the Cubs around the Trade Deadline did not come from a trade at all.  It came in the release of Bob Howry.  Howry was released for the second time this year after coming to the Cubs and allowing 19 runs (13 earned) in 20 2/3 innings with Chicago.  Howry may have thrown his last big league pitch.  The good news is that he probably has thrown his last pitch as a Chicago Cub.


As far as the only trade the Cubs did complete in sending Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers, the players they received in return seem ok.  The Cubs come out ahead here simply because they were able to get something in return for Lilly and save a little money over the remainder of the season and also get rid of Theriot who really did not fit into their future at 2B.


The Cubs received INF Blake DeWitt and two minor league pitchers in return for Lilly and Theriot. 


DeWitt, 24, is a career .264 hitter over his first 3 seasons with an OPS of .723 and a SLG of .383.  Theriot, 30, has a career OPS of .711 but has just a .640 OPS in 2010 and has slugged only .324.


Kyle Smit, 22, was 5-3 with six saves and a 2.35 ERA in 37 appearances between Class A Inland Empire and Double-A Chattanooga.  The book says that he shows good command and decent strikeout stuff in the low minors so far.


Brett Wallach, 21 was 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts for Class A Great Lakes, striking out 92 in 84 2/3 innings.  Baseball America ranked Wallach as the Dodgers’ No. 20 prospect at the start of the season.  Scouts say he has a fastball in the 88-92 mph range, a developing slider, and a decent changeup.  Scouts say his command needs a lot of work.


Neither of the prospects the Cubs received seem that they will make much of an impact down the road.  DeWitt looks like he can be a serviceable replacement for Theriot for the rest of 2010 until the Cubs can figure out what they’re going to do at 2B in the future.  Dewitt looks like a pretty solid major league backup. 


The bigger trade news for the Cubs were the deals that they were not able to complete.  Fukudome, Zambrano, Lee, Nady, and Fontenot are all still Cubs. 


The Cubs did have something in place for Lee but he used his 10 and 5 rights to veto the deal to the Angels. 


Fukudome and Nady could probably still be moved after the deadline, though it is likely that Fukudome and Zambrano may not be moved until after the season- if at all.


As for Fontenot, it’s a little perplexing that he wasn’t moved.  I assume that there would have been a few teams that could have used him as a backup for their playoff runs.  I don’t think that the Cubs see Fontenot as the answer to their 2B opening beyond this season, but who knows.


Overall, the disappointing deadline capped a disappointing season thus far for the Cubs.  It’s apparent that 2010 is over for the Cubs- it would have been nice to see some more rearranging to better position themselves for the offseason.  I do credit Hendry for finally cutting bait with Theriot.  He’s a very average player and not the future 2B for this team.