Peter Christian, David K. & Soxman break down what each MLB contender needs to make the play-offs
Trade Rumors begin to heat up as the MLB trade deadline approaches.Â The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 31. Until then teams may trade players freely without having to go through the waiver process.
I donâ€™t care what David K. says, the Cubs are just fine. They might be the only team to be able to claim that they swindled Billy Beane (by nabbing Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for a handful of minor leaguers that donâ€™t look to be all that great) and they have been able to overcome a lengthy disabled list trip by Alfonso Soriano. Their rotation is very solid (and might get a bit crowded if Jon Lieber looks impressive during his rehab). Even with the Cubs recent struggle to score runs they are 2nd in the Majors in run production and the only MLB club to have a positive run differential of more than 100 runs. The one thing the Cubs do lack is a threat off of the bench. The starting lineup is pretty stacked (especially when Soriano is back) but there really isnâ€™t any firepower on the bench to bring out in late inning pinch-hit situations. Oddly enough the team that has a few guys to fit that mold is the team they already traded with (Aâ€™s). The problem with going after that type of player while being in the Cubs position is that potential trade partners are going to try and go after the best the Cubs have in the cupboard to allow them to make a serious run at World Series (if you hadnâ€™t heard itâ€™s been 100 years since they last won a title) and since the Cubs have a relatively old team (5th oldest average age in the league) they will be very hesitant to trade any piece of their future (i.e. Josh Vitters or Tyler Colvin). If the Cubs make any other moves they may have to utilize their major league pitching depth to get what they are looking for.
Â –Peter Christian
I do agree with Peter that Jim Hendry bamboozled Beane.Â Now if the Cubs offense would just give Harden some run support, the trade would look even better.Â Leiber is likely headed to middle relief duty once he comes back off the DL unless the Cubs think he can be more productive than Jason Marquis as the 5th starter.Â I disagree about the Cubs lacking a threat=2 0off the bench.Â With Soriano being healthy, the Cubs have Reed Johnson, Daryle Ward, Mike Fontenot, Ronny Cedeno, and Henry Blanco on the bench.Â In my opinion, that is the perfect amount of left-handed pinch hitters, pinch-runners, and defensive subs that a team needs to back-up their starters.Â Add in Micah Hoffpauir and Felix Pie as September call-ups and I think the Cubs are even more solid.Â Barring a serious injury, I wouldn’t expect the Cubs to make a move the rest of the way unless they can steal a veteran reliever or get a great deal on another bench player.
The Cubs have already made their big strike with the acquisition of Rich Harden, but they might not be done!Â They still need to solidify the bullpen in the event Scott Eyre is not healthy.Â They have also been interested in Brian Fuentes and Damaso Marte and linked to Khalil Greene several times this season although the Cubs deny any interest.Â I really donâ€™t see him improving the squad.Â Letâ€™s face it, the Cubs are stacked.Â So long as they stay healthy and avoid curses, they are an odds-on favorite to go to the World Series.
7/17- Red Sox
7/20- White Sox
7/25- Aâ€™s, Rangers
7/26- Phillies, Mets, Marlins
7/29- Dodgers, Diamondbacks
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