So, who do the Cubs have to trade anyway?
The list is long, injured and mostly undistinguished
Not too long ago, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal said that the Cubs had the most attractive pieces to sell at the deadline. Ken has since been treated for an apparent head wound.
But, I suppose if everybody they were willing to trade were actually healthy maybe Ken’s statement wouldn’t be so laughable.
So let’s take a look at the players that for better or worse the Cubs might be willing to part with. They are ranked in order of attractiveness to other teams and I have very scientifically assigned a percentage of likelihood that the player is actually traded.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Willson Contreras, C - He is likely to be the most attractive trade piece on the market because a) he’s a catcher and a good one, and b) he is having a very good offensive season both at catcher and as a DH. He’s only 30 and the Cubs should want to keep him, but it’s painfully obvious that they don’t. Last year Jed Hoyer had the single most attractive piece to trade at the deadline and he turned it into Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer. Madrigal has been terrible, with teams basically able to knock the bat out of his tiny widdle hands, and while it might magically turn around, I wouldn’t count on it. Heuer looked pretty good last year but he caught Tommy John Disease. That trade was on a two month, plus one season affordable rental of a closer, Craig Kimbrel. This trade, for Willson will be for a two month rental of a really good player at a really important position. The stakes are actually higher this time. Jed can’t afford to fuck this up. The Cubs didn’t do him any favors last weekend when they faced the Yankees, who have gotten almost zero offense out of their catchers and would seem a prime candidate to target Willson, and the Cubs pitching staff managed to give up two homer games to both of the guys the Yankees are playing at catcher.
Chances the Cubs trade Willson - 107%
Chances it works out in their favor - 2%
Wade Miley, SP - The Cubs claimed him when the Reds waived him because the Reds not only didn’t want to pick up his one-year, $10 million option for this year they didn’t even want to pay his one million dollar buyout. And we all knew the Cubs were claiming him so they could flip him at the trade deadline. He started the season on the injured list, then he came back and had three good starts, went back on the injured list, came back for three shutout innings against the Yankees and then went right back on the IL. And the injury isn’t a hangnail or turf toe, it’s a sore left shoulder and he’s a lefthanded pitcher. It’s already pretty likely they get nothing for him. If they’re going to get anything at all he needs to come off the IL right when he’s eligible and get through July making all of his starts. I don’t like the odds of that.
Chances the Cubs trade Miley - 50%
Chances they get anything useful even if they do trade him because of his shoulder problems - 14%
David Robertson, RP - Robertson has pitched very well for the Cubs and his strikeouts per inning are the highest he’s had since 2017 (12.7). He has closing experience, he’s pitched in bullpens on playoffs and World Series teams. So what’s not to like?
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